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Full text of "Memoir of Rev. Charles T. Torrey who died in the penitentiary of Maryland, where he was confined for showing mercy to the poor"

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-J, C. LOVE. JO Yv 

Copy-right secured to Mrs. Torrey. 



Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1846, by 

In the Clerk s Office of the District Court of Massachusetts. 




" DUST thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," is a 
decree against which mortals struggle in vain. Not only 
does the body return to the earth, but the actions and words 
perish with it. 

The ancients lifted the marble from its bed, and bade the 
chisel shape it into the form of a living man but it was only 
a likeness, imperfect and unable to perpetuate the man that 
once lived and walked and acted. 

Types and the press have furnished us with a cheaper 
mode of preserving the words and actions of men. Yet 
" how small is the sum of them." Far more is lost than can 
be preserved. Still we love to survey the skeletons of the 
extinct races of animals. 

" The proper study of mankind is man." 

Biography furnishes the materials for this study. Little 
need be said to introduce the papers of Mr. Torrey. The 
editor has only to say, that under the circumstances in which 
he was placed, he has done what he could, to arrange them 
so as to give a fair picture of his life. 

It properly devolves upon an intimate friend to prepare 
materials from the hand of the dead for the eye of the living. 
The individual selected for that purpose by Mr. Torrey, was 
admonished by his declining health that he could undertake 
no such task. The alternative was thus presented to the 
writer, that either there would be no memoir of Mr. Torrey, 

Ml /I 


or he must prepare it. He chose the latter ; and if the reader 
finds it not what he would like ; the comparison is not be 
tween this and a better one, but this or none. 

Mr. Torrey was a profuse writer. Sermons, diaries, edi 
torials, essays, letters in huge and dire masses lay around us, 
as we began the work like chaos at creation, a vast heap 
of unshaped material. We have read and culled, and cut 
and arranged, till the brain is tired and the hand weary ; 
if you, reader, are in any measure thankful for our labor, we 
take it kindly, and are more than repaid ; if you buffet us 
for faults, we are clad in the best of shields : in the midst of 
other cares and duties, we have done what we could. 

J. C. L. 

November, 1846. 




Birth, Parents, Early Education .... I 

College Life 5 

School-keeping . 24 


Studies Theology. Letters to his Wife before Marriage. Ordina 
tion at Providence. Letter to his Wife. Dismission. Reset 
tled at Salem. Leaves Salem 32 

Letters to Rev. P. Cooke 42 


Continues to Lecture. Reporter at Washington Goes to Annap 
olis. Imprisonment. Letters 85 


Becomes Editor of a Paper in Albany. Goes to Virginia to assist 
a man to get his Wife and Children. Carriage seized. Story 
of the Webb Family 104 


Arrest and Imprisonment of Mr. Torrey. Letters from Baltimore 

Jail. Letter to a Convention at Salem ... 126 



Letters to his Wife. Attempts to escape from Jail . . . 148 

Letters to Mr. Alden . To Mrs. Williams. To Mr. Mc Kim . 160 


Trial of Mr. Torrey Conviction . . - . -. * - . 171 

Letters from the Penitentiary 214 

Letters to Mrs. Torrey, while in Prison 237 


Last Letters to and from Mr. Torrey 245 


Efforts for the Release of Mr. Torrey. His Sickness and Death 282 


Funeral. Extracts from the Sermon preached on the occasion 294 


Sketches of Mr. Torrey. Resolutions of Public Bodies. Voice of 

the Press. Poetry 308 




" THOUGH dead, he yet speaketh." Who does not love to 
listen to the gentle whisper that comes up to the ear from the 
grave ? All the angry passions that from within and without 
beset their victim, lie quietly sleeping around his tomb. The 
things said and the deeds done are the mirror in which you 
may see the man. On a fly leaf without date, but in the 
hand writing of Mr. Torrey, is the following record. 

" Some particulars of my parents, etc., furnished by my 
grandmother, etc., when I was at home last. 

" My mother, Hannah Tolman Turner, was born Jan. 28, 
1794 My father, Charles Torrey, was born . They 
were married March 21, 1813. I, Charles, was born Nov. 21 , 
1813. My name afterwards was altered by general court to 
Charles Turner, in 18 . Hannah was born April 14, 1815. 
Father died October , 1815, of consumption, aged . 
My sister died March 28, 1816, of dropsy in the head, aged 
11 months and 17 days ; was a very beautiful child. Mother 
died March 29, 1817, of consumption, aged 23 years, 2 months 
and 1 day.y She was a member of Mr. Thomas s church ; 
said to be very beautiful, amiable, etc. Mother was born in 
the house at present occupied by uncle Theodore ; father, in 
a house in Boston, formerly occupied by Mr. Burr. They 
lived, were married, and died in Scituate. He died in his 


own house, near the late "Augustus Clapp s, in the North 
parish. / Hannah aisp dfe-Uierp. Mother afterwards moved 
to grandfather s house," w here she was born; there she died. 
A short time before she died she solemnly consecrated me to 
God, hoping that I might be his. My parents, immediately 
after their marriage, removed to the house near Mr. Clapp s, 
whence they never removed. Father was a merchant. I 
have, ever since a short time previous to my mother s death, 
lived with my grandparents : first, till 1825, at Scituate ; 
thence, till Oct. 1827, at Charlestown ; thence, till May 30, 
1828, at Chelsea; from June 1, 1828 to Aug. 20, 1830, I 
was at Exeter, N. H., attending Phillips Academy ; boarded, 
except the last term, with Mr. John Gardner ; thence till 
October 15, at Chelsea ; then came to Yale college, and here 
am I. I remember very little about my parents or sister ; 
perhaps nothing ; for impressions may have been made on 
my mind so in unison with what may have been my feelings 
at the time, that I remember them. For instance ; I think 
I remember playing with my little sister; remember my glee 
at the pleasant ride I thought we had when she was buried ; 
my father s greatcoat, which hung in a particular place; my 
mother s sick bed ; aunt Amanda s parching corn for her ; 
my playing about father s house, near a board fence ; going 
into the shop ; and perhaps some other trifling circumstances ; 
must, when I next see Scituate, endeavor to renew my 
recollections, by visiting my former home, no longer the 
home indeed to which my heart clings." 

The young and beautiful mother of Mr. Torrey, at the 
early age of 23 years, resigning life and the fond hopes that 
hovered around her darling boy, consigned him, upon her dy 
ing bed, to the arms of her father and mother. In the same 
family resided a sister of his grandmother, who loved Charles 
with the fondness of a mother. The lonely orphan commit 
ted to their care, displayed, even in his childish prattle, evi- 


dence of uncommon intelligence, which was perceived by less 
partial witnesses than the loving grandparents. His memory 
was strong and retentive, and his mind ever on the alert to 
obtain information, led him, at an early age, to take freely of 
the "tree of knowledge of good and evil." In his walks, to 
and from school, he amused himself with examining the bugs, 
caterpillars, grasshoppers, worms, butterflies, frogs, polywogs, 
and flowers of every hue which intersected his path. This 
occupied so much time his fond grandmother often started in 
pursuit of him, when she would find him returning with his 
little dinner pail filled full of the various specimens of Natu 
ral History and Botany which he had been studying. He 
would then, by reading and conversation, learn all he could 
respecting them ; and this knowledge, thus acquired, in after 
years, he always had at command. 

He loved not the rude sports common to children of his 
age ; but found his chief delight in retiring to a closet, and 
reading the books, both grave and gay, which had come down 
to the family from past generations, or in conversation with 
his grandmother upon theology, and with his grandfather up 
on the political affairs of his native town and country, so far 
as he could obtain information. 

At the age of five and six years, he always attended the 
town meetings with his grandfather, who was generally mod 
erator ; sat with him, watched every proceeding, counted eve 
ry vote, and was able to carry home a correct account of all 
that transpired there. It was probably here, that he first ob 
tained his taste for politics. 

No wonder that they marvelled at him, and felt proud at 
the astonishment with which others heard him converse. But 
unfortunately, he soon learned, what was not the less true, 
that he displayed intelligence and mental power beyond his 
years. This led him to place great reliance upon his own 
wisdom ; and as his passions were also equally developed 
with his mental faculties, rendered it exceedingly difficult for 


the trembling hand of age to hold the reins of discipline with 
sufficient sternness to guide such a comet through his child 
hood and youth. 

He accordingly grew up lovely in his person, sprightly in 
his manners, with uncommon knowledge, ability, and self- 
confidence, and swayed by passions which yielded to no con 

God has his purposes to execute, deeper and wider than 
any we can form ; and upon every character, when it is com 
pleted, will be found this inscription : " For this same pur 
pose have I raised thee up." Thus it must be, and thus the 
Scripture is fulfilled ; not written with pen and ink indeed, 
but in those deeper lines, where the finger of God writes his 
will upon the hidden columns that support his throne. 

When fifteen years of age, his long black hair was 
smoothed around his brow, his trunk packed with books and 
clothing, and the last kiss of aunt and grandmother im 
pressed upon his ruddy lips, and with many prayers, cher 
ished hopes, and large expectations, he left " Home" for Ex 
eter Academy, there to fit for college. Two years there 
not only fitted him for college, but well nigh unfitted him for 
this world and the next. 

Take care ! that young boy goes out upon the ocean of life 
freighted with hopes richer than the gold of Ophir. 

" Take heed, ye guardians of the youthful mind 
That facile grows beneath your kindly care : 
Tis of elastic mould, and, if confined 
With too much stress, shoots madly from its sphere, 
Unswayed by love, and unrestrained by fear." 

There is enough to fill the fond parent with overwhelming 
apprehension, in sending out a son upon the world at that age 
when the magazine of passion is about to be uncovered, and 
sparks are flying around it in all directions. The pure 
minded boy joins the older circle of companions, and must 
for himself choose the good or perish by the evil. 


It scarcely needed the vivid imagination of the pure minded 
Greek to paint this danger in a beautiful allegory. The 
great, the wise, and the good Dr. Arnold of Rugby, felt this 
danger with all a parent s solicitude. Nothing but the re 
flection that there is no virtue that is not tried, could recon 
cile him to the exposure to which he saw the younger mem 
bers of his school subject. 

It was joy to him to see the bending reed recover itself, 
after the rude blast had swept over it, and standing firmer 
with its roots broader and stronger, promising to be a tree 
which no wind can shake, no storm disturb. 



By the restraining grace of God, Mr. T. was kept during 
the two years at the Academy, and entered Yale College, in 
autumn of 1830, in his 17th year. He entered the Sopho 
more class, though, young as he then was, it would have been 
better had he entered the Freshman class. Of his first year 
in college he has left no trace behind, save the record of his 
expenses. His father left him a small patrimony, in the 
hands of Hon. Charles Turner, his grandfather, which, with 
great prudence, and some exertion on his part, would have 
nearly educated him. But this he did not understand. His 
doubly fond grandparents, who loved two in one, had always 
abundantly supplied every want ; and it was not till, in the 
midst of his collegiate course, when his resources began to fail 
by his repeated demands upon them, that he first began to feel 
the worth of money. Though it was now necessary for his 
guardian to teach him lessons of economy, it was as painful 
to him as to the subject of his discipline. He was now obliged 


to resort to credit, for the remainder of his education. And 
he who knows not how to spend ready money, will know still 
less about regulating his expenses, when the pay day is dis 
tant. He accordingly graduated in debt, which was aug 
mented unnecessarily by the purchase of a library, and other 
useful things, which it would have been better to have re 
mained without, till he really needed them, or was able to pay 
for them. The following sums passed through his hands 
while in college. 

First year $39 6,87 J 

Second year 303,80 

Third year 601,25 

During the first year of Mr. Torrey s college life, he be 
came the subject of religious impressions, which resulted in 
his hopeful conversion to Christ. In his journal is found the 
following record : 

Sabbath day, March 13, 1831. 

" Though I have repeatedly resolved on my course, I have 
never written it down formally. I will do so now ; and, after 
prayer to my Maker, sign it. 

" Whereas my attention has been for some time called to the 
all-important subject of my soul s salvation, I, being fully 
convinced and persuaded, and feeling in my heart, that the 
service of God is the only satisfsctory service, with prayerful 
earnestness and solemnity, having the eternal consequences 
in view, in the presence of God, appealing to him for the sin 
cerity of my intentions and for his aid and assistance, do now 
resolve that I will be, in very deed, his disciple ; that I will 
take him in Christ as my only portion and hope, for time and 
for eternity, putting away all lusts and everything inconsist 
ent with his honor and glory and the devotion of my whole 
heart and life to his cause : that I do now and forever conse 
crate myself to his service ; that he shall be my God, and I 
will be his child. And may God, in his infinite mercy and 


love, enable me, in reliance on the Savior, to keep this reso 
lution : to which I now, in his presence, affix my hand. 


2 1 minutes after nine o clock, P. M. 

" I have done it. The act has been solemnly done, in the 
presence of God ; and I know before this it is recorded in 
heaven. May he enable me to abide by it in eternity. He 
can and will. In him do I put my trust. I think I had bet 
ter read this daily, till it is impressed upon my mind. I feel 
that I am acting no trifling part ; that my future state has 
now been decided, and I will trust in my Maker that it is de 
cided that I shall be of the number of those who love him." 

[Common-place Book and Journal, 1831.] 

" Yale, New Haven, July 1. 

" The following is the Covenant and Confession of Faith 
in our college church." 

After writing out the Confession of Faith, he says : 
" This, then, is the solemn covenant I entered into with 
my Maker and his church. And how have I kept it ? God 
is a covenant-keeping God ; but I, his creature, have vio 
lated my vows. Now would I renew them ; and may his 
grace enable me to keep them. This day, as usual, wrote 
a little. In the evening, attended the usual college prayer- 
meeting ; very few were present ; most of the students prob 
ably attended the preparatory lecture in the Center church. 
The meeting was a precious one to me. I do enjoy some of 
our meetings for social prayer very much. My private devo 
tions, too, are generally most precious seasons, especially 
when I can, in any measure, realise the fact, that my Lord 
and Savior is present ; when I can cast myself at his feet, and 
ask his forgiveness and blessing. How unsearchable are the 
riches of his goodness, which can forgive such sins as mine ! 
renewed daily and hourly. Some time since, when the 
thought of my sinfulness, my persisting in the same sins for 


which I have often asked forgiveness, came into my mind, I 
felt ashamed to go and ask pardon. And I fear this emotion 
of pride kept me from my Maker when I should have con 
fessed my vileness and humbled myself before him. But 
happily I was led to see the error of this being ashamed to go 
to my Maker when oppressed with the sense of guilt, by 
some remarks made in the Theological Chamber, by one of 
the brethren " 

From this Journal Mr. Torrey will have some communion 
with the reader on various topics during the remaining pe 
riod of his college life. You can see that he formed his own 
opinions at that early age, and knew how to express them. 
You have, too, many of the struggles of the human and di 
vine light and darkness, sin and holiness contending with 
each other. In these journals, the marked and prominent 
attribute of his mind, fertility, is everywhere apparent, His 
mind was like the ground of the rich man, it brought forth 
plentifully. It yielded its fruit not only every month, but 
every day. 

He was in the habit of writing an abstract of the sermons 
which he heard on the sabbath, and then appended his own 
remarks. Of one sermon he says : " This sermon was sim 
ple and eloquent, came from the heart, and in many instances, 
no doubt, reached it. As in the case of Miss C., I went there 
after meeting. She appeared much affected ; had a serious 
and affectionate conversation with her. She went to her 
closet and returned, as we trust, a new creature. Her first 
question, when she returned, was : How one felt, or could 
know, when they had submitted themselves to Christ?" 

The following remarks are just as good for the new pro 
geny of darkness, Odd-fellows, as for their ancestors, the 

" July 4, 5, 6. "Wednesday. Now for a composition. 
What shall I write about ? Masonry. If the prince of the 
powers of the air, that old serpent, otherwise called the devil, 


should appear bodily in the midst of us, p attempt to set up his 
kingdom here openly, in the view of all men, there can be but 
little doubt, that he would be driven out of the country, with 
every mark of disgrace and contempt. But when he as 
sumes the form of an angel of light, promises to those who 
will blindly follow him, all the happiness and rewards attend 
ant upon integrity of heart, then people begin to imagine that 
he who once appeared not less than archangel ruined, is an 
archangel still ; though, if they would examine his character 
and designs, the archfiend would plainly appear. Now sup 
pose he had come into this country, and in this mild, heavenly 
disguise, set up a kingdom here, concealed his character, 
displayed an outside of pomp and splendor, of beauty and 
benevolence, to the eyes of the admiring crowd ; and thus in 
duced thousands, of the good as well as the bad, to serve him. 
Suppose again, that on a certain occasion his cloven foot, his 
fiendish nature, should accidentally appear to a few of his fol 
lowers ; they, alarmed and convinced of his real character 
and designs, labor and print and pray to convince the other 
blinded followers of the Old Gentleman of it, to induce them 
to join to overthrow his government, drive his majesty satanic 
to his own place. . . Now what should one say of those who 
opposed this so desirable revolution ? Why, common sense 
would dictate the answer : their own principles had become 
assimilated, if not identified, with those of their ruler. Sup 
pose again, that thousands of these devil-worshippers, aroused 
to examine his nature, should spurn his allegiance, and sol 
emnly warn their countrymen to shake off his chains, which 
were soon to be riveted upon their bodies and souls, and 
themselves made the servile tools of his fiendish majesty, to 
conquer other provinces to himself. Washington has left it 
on record, and every freeman ought to think of it : that he 
believed secret societies were the bane of civil liberty. And 
why ? Because secret societies enter into obligations unknown 
to the civil law, and exercise, in consequence, an influence for 


which they cannot be made responsible to the law. If this 
influence be bad, the foundations of government are destroyed. 
This Washington thought, and has declared. Let every lover 
of liberty remember it : secret societies are the bane, etc. 
Now to show that Masonry has this effect. In New York, 
as all know, there has been a number of Masons tried, for 
procuring the inhuman murder of Morgan, and not one has 
been found guilty, though the evidence has been such as to 
render it perfectly certain that the individuals tried were 
guilty. Why ? Because a mason was on the jury, and 
would not convict a brother mason, though a murderer. And 
in nearly a hundred cases, Masons have refused, though fined 
and imprisoned in consequence, to give testimony on the trial 
of a brother, when they knew that their testimony would con 
vict him. When asked why they refused to testify, they an 
swered, that they regarded the Masonic oaths as superior in 
their obligation to the civil oaths, and they perjured them 
selves to clear their guilty Masonic brethren. Can a govern 
ment subsist where justice is thus baffled ? 

" Take your Bibles and read there the titles of the Most 
High God : I am that I am, < the King of Heaven, * the 
King of Kings. Enter a lodge of Masons and hear these 
titles, and manv others, applied to the Grand Masters, and 
other Masons, and then answer it to your consciences and to 
your God, whether you will not oppose an institution which 
blasphemes the God of heaven ; whose officers assume his 
titles ; and which thus marks all we reverence as holy, all we 
rely upon as lovely, in the religion of Christ. Even those 
who insist most strongly upon the natural tendency of the hu 
man mind to great and noble deeds and purposes, must ad 
mit that it is, in a majority of instances, strangely perverse, 
is wonderfully inclined to receive gilded errors, rather than to 
search for the hidden things of truth. No greater proof of 
this is needed than the almost innumerable systems of re 
ligion current at the present day, but one of which, from the 


nature of things, can be entirely right. Again, most of us 
have observed what a wonderful difference there is between 
a dream and the reality, which an examination by daylight 
presents to the mind. On these two principles we may per 
haps account for that beauty which appeared in a certain tree, 
of which we had an eloquent description last week. To one 
thoroughly awakened, the tree appears to be rotten, the 
branches leafless and withered ; those reclining under it half 
bad the rest, indeed good ; but contented to suppose the tree 
shady, because they are told so, and never looked up to see 
its barrenness ; but spell-bound by the master spirit who sits 
on the tree scattering poison over the whole multitude of 

A good Bath for Soul and Body. 

" July 6. Had a delicious bath going to A., and on return 
ing, in two fresh brooks. I trust my soul, too, was bathed ; 
received an unction from on high while I was there, for which 
I shall have reason ever to bless and praise the Lord of 

Cold Water to a Thirsty soul. 

11 Heard joyful news from "Washington. The Lord is 
pouring out his Spirit there in a wonderful manner, turn 
ing sinners to himself. Truly when I heard of the in 
stances of conversion there, I could feel the force of the ex 
pression : * What hath the Lord wrought ! Wednesday, 
spake in the chapel for Stoddard. Read most of the P. M. 
in a desultory manner, to find something to speak in the 
evening in the Society. Spoke as I did ; a manner which I 
am now sorry for ; for I fear I did not recollect the presence 
of God. Came home very late, studied a little, and then to 
bed. After spending a day of what ? I accomplished 
something, to be sure ; but what bearing my conduct had on 


the prosperity of Zion, is another question. Father, forgive 
my sins against thee." 


" Well, now, what advances in holiness have I made to-day ? 
What, added to my knowledge of God s character and my 
duties to him ? How have I improved the great advantages 
I have enjoyed ? These are questions which I must answer 
at the bar of my Maker ; but, alas ! what can I say, but with 
the publican, God be merciful to me a sinner ? I fear I for 
get one thing too much : that I ought to remember and dwell 
upon the truths I hear on the sabbath, during the week, and 
not drive them from my mind, like the way-side hearers, af 
ter the sabbath is over. Well, I must repeat the prayer, and 
I know it is to the God of mercy and love, be merciful to 
me/ This I must repeat, again and again, till the end of life." 

Backsliding of Christians ; Description of the Heart, by Pol- 

lok ; Original Lines added, 

"July 14, 15, 16. Thursday. Why is it that Christians, 
almost invariably, become cold and careless about the con 
cerns of eternity ? Can it be accounted for on any of the 
known principles of the human mind ? But there is a cause : 
indwelling sin and corruption of the heart, which is sure to get 
the mastery if the Christian does not continually watch unto 
prayer. But is there any need of this being the case ? The 
children of the world are wiser than the children of light. 
They do not abandon the great objects they set before them 
till they are obtained. And may not Christians, who have in 
finitely higher motives before them, persevere unto the end, 
till the crown awaiting them is twined about their brows ? 
Oh that the day might speedily come, when this deathlike 
slumber shall no longer affect the church of Christ ! I here 
insert Pollok s true description of the heart after it is re 
newed by the spirit of God. 


What seest thou here ? what mark st ? observe it well : 
Will, passion, reason, hopes, fears ; joy, distress : 
Peace, turbulence ; simplicity, deceit ; 
Good, ill ; corruption, immortality ; 
A temple of the Holy Ghost, and yet 
Oft lodging fiends : the dwelling place of all 
The heavenly virtues charity and truth, 
Humility, and holiness, and love ; 
And yet the common haunt of anger, pride, 
Hatred, revenge, and passions foul with lust ; 
Allied to heaven, yet parleying oft with hell ; 
A soldier listed in Messiah s band, 
Yet giving quarter to Abaddon s troops ; 
With seraphs drinking from the well of life, 
And yet carousing in the cup of death. 
An heir of heaven, and walking thitherward, 
Yet casting back a covetous eye on earth ; 
Emblem of strength and weakness ; loving now, 
And now abhorring sin ; indulging now, 
And now repenting sore ; rejoicing now, 
With joy unspeakable, and full of glory ; 
Now weeping bitterly, and clothed in dust ; 
A man willing to do, and doing not ; 
Doing, and willing not ; embracing what 
He hates, what most he loves abandoning. 
Half saint, and sinner half half life, half death : 
Commixture strange of heaven, and earth, and hell." 

"A true picture this, of my heart, and the heart of every 
Christian ; but blessed be God that, 

When the great Immanuel comes 
To reign on earth, in all the glory of 
His Father s throne, and souls renewed 
And sanctified shall be like Him glorious 
In holiness, in faith, in charity, in love ; 
And then we shout the praises of our Jesus 
Name, in strains which men nor angels 
Ever heard : Glory to Him who bought us 
With His blood ; honor, and power, and praise, 
Immortal praise, forever. Sing ye 
Heavens, and earth, and seas ; burst forth 


In songs of glory to the Prince of Life, 

Redeemer of a lost and ruined world. 

No fetters then, of sin, shall clog our worship : 

From our hearts it shall ascend before the 

Throne, Avhere reigns the Savior God, 

The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords." 

"Wednesday, August 31, 1831. Went to meeting this 
morning quite stupid, but enjoyed it better than I sometimes 
do. Enjoyed secret prayer much ; felt not much elevation of 
feeling, but some confidence in God. It does seem as if I 
made no advance at all in divine life ; as if I wasted every 
opportunity, and abused every means of growth in grace. 
And yet I am spared, in great mercy, I speak, too, of my 
sins and God s mercies as carelessly as if they were things of 
no moment. When shall I feel that God is and must be the 
only source of my joys the only object of my devotion in time 
as well as in eternity ! When 1 compare my feelings and my 
conduct with my high promises, I am ready to despair of do 
ing or being anything in the cause of Christ. But well I may 
do so. To His name be all the praise. He alone can make 
me fit for anything but eternal banishment from his blessed 
presence. This morning received a letter from sweet Amanda, 
containing both good and bad news ; to God be the praise for 
the first. There is quite a revival in Medford, especially 
amongst the little children in the sabbath school." 

It is always pleasant to meet, and praise is comely to the 
, Bard of Liberty." We cannot deny the reader a part of 
the pleasure we had in finding the extracts and criticisms 
which we here give. The critique, though written by a 
young man of eighteen, is quite equal to most of the Notes of 
Johnson on Shakspeare. 

" The following beautiful piece is from the pen of J. G. 
Whittier, editor of the New England Weekly Review. Its 
sublimity is worthy of Milton. 


Christ in the Tempest. 

1 Storm on the midnight waters ! The vast sky 

Is stooping with its thunder. Cloud on cloud 

Keels heavily in the darkness, like a shroud 
Shook by some warning spirit from the high 
And terrible wall of heaven. The mighty wave 

Tosses beneath its shadow, like the bold 
Upheavings of a giant from the grave 

Which bound him prematurely to its cold 

And desolate bosom. Lo ! they mingle now 
Tempest and heaving wave, along whose brow 

Trembles the lightning from its thick cloud fold ! 

****** ** 
He stood upon the reeling deck his form 

Made visible by the lightning ; and his brow 
Uncovered to the visiting of the storm, 

Told of a triumph man may never know 
Power underived and mighty: PEACE ! BE STILL !" 

The great waves heard him, and the storm s loud tone 
Went moaning into silence, at his will ; 

And the thick clouds, where yet the lightning shone 

And slept the latent thunder, rolled away, 
Until no trace of tempest lurked behind ; 
Changing upon the pinions of the wind 

To houseless wanderers, beautiful and gay. 

Dread ruler of the tempest ! Thou before 
Whose presence boweth the uprisen storm 

To vrhom the waves do homage, round the shore 
Of many an island empire ! if the form 

Of the frail dust beneath thine eye, may claim 

Thy infinite regard oh ! breathe upon 

The storm and darkness of man s soul the same 
Quiet and peace and humbleness, which came 

O er the roused waters, where thy voice had gone 
A minister of power to conquer in thy name ! 

" Indeed this is a most beautiful piece. The sublimity of 
the second and third stanzas exceeds almost anything of the 
kind that I ever read. It consists in the simplicity of the ex- 


pressions and the elevation of the subject, the want of all 
those high-sounding epithets and adjectives with which our best 
poets are too apt to disfigure their pages. The scene is one 
of the noblest ever described by the poet or painter, the exhi 
bition of almighty poiver in calming the tempest. I should 
like much to see Raphael s painting of the scene, said to be 
his best production." 

A College Incident. Criticism on Aristotle. 
" Yesterday morning some ninny locked the door of our re 
citation room : So we adjourned, whereat Tutor seemed 

as pleased as any of us. Not so tutor D , our Tutor. He 

was most grievously offended ; for, as he said, he was anxious 
to report his division to the faculty as proceeding orderly and 
successfully in their studies, etc. But this he could not do, if 
we locked the door to avoid recitation ; and accordingly, he 
directed us to get a double lesson ! Magnanimous man ! 
We have, for a few days past, been reading Aristotle on 
Magnanimity, etc. But in my humble opinion, all that he says 
on the subject, would be esteemed folly, if it was not sanc 
tioned by antiquity ; all his arguments and conclusions, 
founded on suppositions, rather than on fixed principles. 
However, if I should assert this in Salamanca, I doubt not 
that I should be burnt for heresy ; or at least considered as a 
blind ass, who could not see the sense in metaphysical distinc 
tion between things precisely alike. Aristotle s magnanim 
ity is, as he defines it, a good opinion of one s own merits ; 
that is, self-sufficiency. Mine is of a very different order. 
To be sure, I think sufficiently well of my own transcendant 
merits ; but in this I see no magnanimity. Magnanimity is 
rather elevation of mind, of opinion, and sentiment, and ambi 
tion to be great by being good, an expansion of mind. His 
observations concerning friendship, are far more just; but 
though, when written, they were original, they would now 
seem dull and common-place." 


Birth-Day Reflections. Poetry. 

Monday, November 21, 1831. My birth-day. This day 
I have completed my 18th year. Eighteen years of sin and 
folly ; eighteen years have I enjoyed the rich blessings of 
heaven ; friends have been given me, and all that could ren 
der life desirable. And I know that in reference to my 
Maker, my feelings have been and are different. However 
much I have wandered from God, however cold and stupid I 
am, still his house is a place I love, in his service I find all 
the enjoyment I obtain. In his name 1 delight to speak and 
hear, and to his service I am devoted. In his cause I will 
spend my life, my all. I have even, I believe, been enabled 
to do a little in his cause. But what is it, compared with 
my duty and opportunities? Nothing. I have neglected 
many of my best opportunities of serving him, and very illy 
improved the small remainder. And when I compare the 
slow advances I have made in divine knowledge, and the un 
holy life I have lived with the requirements of Jesus, I am 
ashamed and ready to ask, what is to become of such a sin 
ner ? In a season of peculiar enjoyment of the presence of 
God, I resolved I would never, by his aid, doubt that I had 
been renewed by his grace. And notwithstanding my cold 
ness, I see no reason to give up, and distrust God. The 
negligence of duty which I indulge in, ought to humble me 
deeply, but may God preserve me from doubting him. Give 
me the deepest distrust of self, and reliance on thy will. O 
may I not, any more, dishonor God by neglecting him as I 
have done. I have deeply offended him ; prayer I have often, 
especially lately, neglected. I have not studied the Bible as 
I should. I think very little of my duty to him ; very little 
of his love. In meetings I become excited, usually ; but it 
has little permanent effect upon my conduct. I abuse the 
privileges he has given me to grow in grace. I have thought 
little, done less. Have mercy, Lord, for Jesus sake, upon me, 


a guilty sinner. I have acquired some knowledge of the 
heart and its operations ; some little experience in the prac 
tical duties of religion. Have had, recently, some struggles 
with the corrupt passions of my heart, which almost overcame 
rae. Vile thoughts, especially, have led away my affections 
from God. May he have mercy on me, according to the ex 
ceeding riches of his own tender mercies, which are neither few 
nor small, as I can see. Thanks be unto the Lord for his 
great goodness to us, the sinful children of men. Out of his 
mercies to men, he has given us a great share. And how 
little of gratitude is there in our hearts. How many causes 
have we for humiliation, that we have so much abused the 
goodness of our God ; that our national faith has been vio 
lated ; and the cause of God suffered so much from the bit 
terness of party strife ; so little done to promote his glory. 
But still give, 

Thanks to the Lord above 
For all his mercies shown ; 
Praise him for his heavenly love, 
And make his goodness known. 

Favored by His fostering care, 

Our sails are whitening every sea; 

Wealth have they brought, and fruits and flowers, 

And spices sweet from Araby. 

The Heralds of the cross have gone, 
The Love of Jesus to proclaim ; 
To shout aloud : A Savior s born ! 
Angels and men adore his name ! 

The islands of the sea have heard 
The music of the heavenly choir ; 
In Pagan hearts the Heavenly dove 
Has kindled love th immortal fire ! 

The Spirit of the Lord has come, 
And breathed upon the stony heart; 
And many thousands gathered Home, 
From their Redeemer ne er to part. 


Plenty has crowned the circling year, 
The hand of industry was blessed ; 
And, free from strife, and free from fear, 
Our land has been a heavenly rest. 
Oh Lord, forgive our sinful ways, 
And teach our sinful hearts to praise ; 
Let all the earth, and all above, 
Now bless thy mercy, truth, and love." 

Interest in the subject of Missions. 

"March 13, 1832. Monday. Thursday, Friday, and Sat 
urday, was quite fully occupied in removing, getting regu 
lated, etc. Thursday evening joined the missionary circle, 
solemnly devoting myself to this sacred cause, trusting in the 
Lord to sustain me in this determination. Enjoyed the meet 
ing very much ; felt more determined to be devoted to God 
than I had for a long time past, Friday evening College 
prayer meeting; very excellent. Some of the brethren 
seemed to be a little revived ; oh how little. Much do we 
need the reviving influences of the Spirit of God. Little do 
we to obtain it." 

Mourning for Sin. 

" Sabbath, July 29, 1831. Have sinned much within a 
few days past, in unholy thoughts, desires, and actions. It 
seems to have giant power over me ; and I have indeed felt 
a little of the misery of a body of sin and death, and the need 
of a Savior who is mighty to deliver out of every device of 
the evil one, and from the deceits and vileness of my own 
heart, which is indeed a sink of iniquity. I wonder not at 
the declaration of the Bible, that * the hearts of the sons of 
men are set in them to do iniquity, to do only evil continually. 
It seems as though I needed all my time to repent in. I 
trust 1 shall be benefited by the word of God preached to-day ; 
that, seeing the evil of sinning against God, and the free- 


ness of the justifying grace of God, I may not dare or desire 
to pursue a course of sin another day. I find my resolutions 
broken nearly as soon as formed, my purposes of holy obe 
dience turned aside by my lusts, and my soul in misery : 
my mind ill at ease, my heart full of bitterness, chiefly 
through the procrastinating habits which I have formed, and 
my wasting more than half my time. Of this aunt Mary 
warned me, as she did in relation to prudence and the care of 
my health, the last time 1 ever saw her. May I be led by 
the Spirit of God to constant and active obedience, from now 
henceforth and forever, for the sake of the atoning sacrifice." 


" Took up a gun the first time for two years ; found my 
skill at murder about as great as formerly ; the exercise of my 
body did me good ; the exercise of my moral feelings, while 
thus engaged, was perhaps of much more questionable utility. 
I am not fully persuaded that shooting is proper for a 
Christian or any one else. Its influence on the moral sense 
is the most objectionable part of it ; the cruelty of it is an 
other objection, though it may be necessary, as for instance 
shooting destructive animals." 

Creature expectations disappointed. 

" I went to Carmel, not primarily to glorify God, but to 
see a young lady ; of course I was disappointed in every re 
spect. I may have done good while there. Doane did, I 
know. Since we returned, he has received a letter from 
there. We had considerable conversation about drinking tea 
and coffee ; the girls talked it over, and asked their father if 
he would devote the sum they usually expended for tea, cof 
fee, etc., to the missionary cause. He agreed, if they would 
leave off tea and coffee, to give them five dollars apiece an 
nually, for that object, tie will probably give nearly thirty 


dollars, if not more, in consequence. So much saved from 
sensual indulgences to the cause of Christ ! Query ? Can t / 
save more for it ?" 

Procrastination. Struggles against it. 
" The time I spent at West Haven was beneficially spent 
in several respects ; but laziness and neglect of prayer fol 
lowed me ; so have they done all this term, though I have 
prayed more than usual ; have, I believe, felt more interest 
in missions and in religion in every shape than I ever did be 
fore ; yet it appears to me I have sinned more than I ever 
did ; I have hardly made one effort to warm the heart of one 
Christian, or to convert one sinner. * My works do follow me/ 
I have not had enjoyment, except now and then a day, or a 
few hours ; and then I have fallen into sin. Procrastination 
has been my ruin. The habit of reading newspapers in the 
morning, when I should have been praying, has been a seri 
ous injury to me. I have begun many things, but have fin 
ished very little, through indolence and sin. My God, have 
thou mercy upon me ! I do desire to make one effort to 
break off my habits of procrastination ; to be punctual in all 
things, to be holy in all things. This term very many in 
teresting things and circumstances have taken place or come 
to my knowledge ; but many of them I must leave unwritten." 

Early Views of Human Government. 
" I love the principles of a republic, because they are 
those of religion applied to the science of government. Re 
ligion recognizes nothing arbitrary, no despotic power over 
the conduct of men ; it aims only to draw them by the 
power of motive. So does a republic of Religion ; unfolds 
to man his true dignity, and proclaims him a freeraan ; lays 
the foundation of social order in the mutual wants of men. A 
republic is but an expression of the same views applied to 
the general purposes of government. The reward of religion 


in this world is found chiefly in the consciousness of rectitude 
and in mental enjoyment. In a republic, the praise of having 
benefited others, of having done well, is the chief reward of 
him who serves his country, together with the mental and be 
nevolent pleasures arising from rectitude of motive and action. 
Religion proposes to man to act for the highest good of the 
world. A republic addresses no man with prospects of per 
sonal aggrandizement, but asks the services of men who will 
act for their country s good, and that alone. That other mo 
tives do not have their influence, and far more than their 
proper influence, none will deny. But the principles of the 
government hold out no such motives to any man. They 
speak but the united voice of reason and Scripture : Love 
thy neighbor as thyself/ the golden rule of human action. 

" It is frequently said that until men are enlightened, edu 
cated, etc., they require the strong arm of monarchical, power 
to restrain the outbreakings of sinful passion. This remark 
includes a tacit acknowledgment that the principles of mon 
archies are vitally wrong ; and contains other fallacies: 1st, 
that men may be degraded, and be incapable of being moved 
and governed by moral power alone ; which the missionaries 
of the cross have demonstrated to be untrue, within ten years 
past. 2d. It takes for granted two things ; first, that a mon 
archy has more means of repressing violence than a republic, 
(at least, a doubtful assertion,) and second, that a govern 
ment adapted to man s social capacities, and fitted to secure 
his attachment, will have less power over its citizens, than 
one (monarchy, which the assertion grants to be) founded up 
on men s fears" 

Late Rising. 

" Sabbath, August 5, 1832. Sat up late last evening, 
studying and washing myself. Hence I laid till nearly eight 
this morning, a very bad practice, which I do now resolve to 
break off at once ; I must retire earlier, lesson or no lesson. 


I waste time enough to do twice as much as I do generally. 
Forgive me, Lord, my master. Help me to be diligent in thy 
service, and fervent in spirit. I will record the good deeds 
of God that while I have sinned, wasted my time, put off 
and neglected prayer, and his word, and done nothing for 
him, yet he has granted me some sense of my sinfulness, and 
several sweet seasons of communion with Him. He has not 
taken from me his Holy Spirit ; my cup has run over with 
undeserved blessings. 

Prayer, and Interest in Missions. 

" The prayer meetings are attended with increased interest, 
for Christians are beginning to recognize the truth that prayer 
is to effect something, or it is not prayer ; some in college 
are awake ; I trust more will awake before the term closes (a 
week from Wednesday). I have little doubt that there will 
be a powerful revival here next term, or before. God grant it. 

There is more piety in the theological school than there 
ever has been before. Tutor Stevens s departure seems to 
have taken hold of them ; and I hope it may lead not a few 
of them to leave father and mother, wife and children, and 
follow him, or rather follow their Master, to China ; so that 
a constant, annual stream shall flow over that vast empire, to 
elevate and sanctify the mass of mind there assembled. If 
Tale College would adopt China with its 350 millions, and 
take up the work of converting it to God, as a business to be 
effected by the instrumentality of its students, surely the work 
would be effected; God would be glorified in the salvation of 
that empire, and the earth would feel and see that our Lord 
was God indeed !" 

The above extracts, taken from the diary of Mr. T., are 
sufficient to show the character of his feelings while in col 
lege. Much of his writings at this period, consist of notes 


taken from the sermons he heard on the Sabbath, and other 
lectures from the Professors at Yale. 

Though a very good classical scholar, he was never a hard 
student. He acquired, however, a great amount of know 
ledge on a great variety of subjects. Nor let the reader sup 
pose this was accomplished without labor. He was versatile, 
turning easily from one thing to another ; quickly grasping 
what he supposed might be known of one subject, he has 
tened to lay hands on something new. 



Mr. Torrey went from college to that transition-state of 
existence for professional men, school-keeping. 

How the course of life ran with him here, his own record 
shows. There is here given : A young man of great literary 
acquisition, little knowledge of the world, unused to govern 
or be governed : will he make a schoolmaster ? The unruly 
boys and fond parents will work out this problem. Let us 
see how the subject of the experiment bears himself while in 
the crucible. 

Chelsea, Sabbath, Oct. 20, 1833. After the lapse of al 
most two years, preserved by the long-suffering and kindness 
of God, I resume my journal. God make it a means of im 
provement to me, both in humble devotion to his service and 
intellect. Since I last was here, I have completed my college 
conrse ; left that fair city, where I have spent so many hap 
py hours, and where first the Spirit of God shed his holy in 
fluences abroad in my heart. There, notwithstanding all my 
sins, God provided me with friends dear to my heart both 
from their intellectual and religious character. Though I 


did not improve my advantages as I should, while there, 
though I now feel my consequent mental weakness, and 
though I have a few dear friends there, yet I do not on the 
whole regret leaving New Haven and old Yale. I have other 
objects and scenes before me, calling for all my time and at 
tention. Have enjoyed many pleasures since I returned from 
New Haven. When I arrived here, the two Misses S. 
were here, with whom I enjoyed many pleasant hours. After 
a short visit at Scituate, I went to Salem, where I again saw 
them and their sister C. Went on to Hamilton. The next 
morning went on to Ipswich, where I had a long interview 
with Miss Grant, on the subject of teaching, and gained many 
valuable hints from her. Went on to Newburyport. Passed the 
afternoon and evening at Mr. D. s. The next morning went over 
to Exeter. Saw old friends. Returned to Amesbury in the 
afternoon ; supped with old uncle Currier. In the night rode 
on to Hamilton. Put up my horse in Mr. P. s barn, and 
failing to wake them, I couched on the hay-mow very pleas 
antly till daylight, when the folks were up. Came on to Sa 
lem. Spent the afternoon in the East India museum, with 
the Misses S. In the evening returned home. The next 
Thursday I went to Scituate, where I tarried working hard 
most of the time till last Tuesday, when I returned to this 
place. Last evening went to Medford and Mr. Osgood s, 
Charlestown. To-morrow I leave this for West Brookfield, 
to take upon myself the responsible office of teacher in the 
Female Seminary." 

" West Brookfield, Wednesday, 24th, 1833. On the scene 
of my future labors safe and well, through the kindness of 
God. Left Boston on Monday morning, 1 o clock, in the 
mail stage. Rode on in sleepy but sleepless silence to Fra- 
mingham, which place we reached about 5 o clock. Some of 
us broke our fast, and at six, when we started, notwithstand 
ing the rainy, murky weather and close stage, there was light 
enough to see each other s faces. Rev. Mr. Pierpoint of B. 


and a very intelligent gentleman from Pittsfield were among 
the passengers, from whose conversation I derived much in 
formation : Depth of loam in Grand Prairie 10 ft,, very much 
like a couch for softness, being, in fact, only decayed vegetable 
fibre ; then some clay ; then a stratum of limestone about 8 
inches thick ; beneath which was an immense and thick de 
posit of ancient trees, the remains of some primeval forest ; 
then gravel and water. I am not quite sure the clay was not 
below the trees. From the conversation of both gentlemen, 
I derived much information in regard to our public men, 
both living and dead. Limestone and sandstone, boulders of 
granite, scattered on the surface in Western States. At Ba 
ton Rouge, first from Gulf up the river. Immense size of 
corn and vegetation generally 11 feet kind, between Vir 
ginia yellow and Carolina white. Reached Worcester at 9 ; 
South Brookfield at 1, where we dined ; this place at 2. 
Stopped at Mr. Newell s, and here I am at the present time. 
Same evening was introduced to Mr. Horton the minister, 
with whom, in two days, I have become quite acquainted. 
Though not one of the. Trustees, he does < more than they all r 
for the Seminary, and now interests himself much in its pros 
perity, making active exertions to secure scholars, etc. Was 
unwell Monday night ; kindly nursed by Mr. and Mrs. N. 
Have received every attention from them. They are admi 
rable, both of them ; as a man and woman intelligent, un 
usually so, and sincerely pious, very amiable. Yesterday 
was the anniversary of the Worcester South A. Miss. Soc., 
celebrated here ; rainy day ; comparatively few attended ; 
but those were delighted, I doubt not. Have a sketch of the 
addresses ; must write it to-morrow, before it grows colder. 
Have spent much time, yesterday and to-day, making ar 
rangements, conversing with Trustees, etc., about the school." 
" Thursday 25th, Friday 26th, Saturday 27th. Making 
arrangements to commence school on Wednesday next, con 
versing with Trustees, concocting advertisements, reading, 


writing, etc. Yesterday, rode to Western with Mr. Horton. 
Sabbath, 28. Mr. Stone, of South BrookfieU, preached in 
the evening. Mr. Horton read from the report of the General 
Association, and made remarks. I, for the first time, made a 
tew. Lecture for me Wednesday. Monday, 29th. Meeting 
of the Trustees. Was elected Principal of the Seminary. 
Have not made conditions on which to engage. Had con 
siderable conversation with the Trustees." 

" Now for some ideas for my Lecture on Education. The 
true and only proper end of education is to train the soul for 
an eternal existence ; to train the intellect and the passions, 
the whole man, for eternity. It is to teach the young immor 
tal to think clearly, correctly, to feel aright, and to act aright, 
in time and in eternity. An impression made upon a child is 
made upon mind, and is to endure while mind endures. No 
matter what the impression is, eternity cannot efface it. The 
want of definite ideas, upon the most common subjects of con 
versation. By this every intelligent teacher is continually 
tormented. Remedy: be sure the child understands, etc. 

" Wednesday eve, Oct. 31. Delivered a Lecture on the 
above topics, about an hour long, to a room full, in the Semi 
nary. Mr. Horton made a few remarks. 

" In the forenoon, about 10, commenced school with Jive ! 
pupils ! ! ! ! ! Courage ! afternoon, six ! Spent most of the 
time in examining them on various matters. 

" Saturday, Nov. 3. School, same ; a little more regular. 
P. M., most of the time at Mr. Newell s and the Bookstore. 
This evening, spent a few minutes in a little prayer meeting 
at Mr. G. s; went in late; very pleasant." 

" 1834, Jan. 5. Communion Sabbath. What have I been 
doing all this time 1 God has blessed me infinitely beyond 
my deservings. My school has increased to twenty ; and 
though it has tried my patience, and I have been discouraged 
by my small number and want of success in several respects, 


yet on the whole it has been to me a source of happiness. It 
has afforded me constant employment a great blessing; 
regular also. I have not secured the affection of all the 
pupils, though in most cases I think I have." 

"Feb. 21, Friday. Have for a long period omitted any 
record of passing events ; a record which, as far as my soul 
is concerned, would have been one of shame and vileness in 
departing from my God ; and, as far as my temporal matters 
are concerned, one of disappointment and almost pecuniary em 
barrassment ; for at this moment I have not one cent on hand ; 
the number of pupils small ; some considerable debts ; and I 
hardly know what prospects, as to the future, I may expect. 
In truth, I have been, for some time past, quite discouraged, 
having no rational prospects of better times. Sure now, it is 
hoping against hope, to suppose I shall prosper in my school. 
But if I do not, I know not what I shall do. I know not 
where to look for resources to pay my debts." 

Hark! ye law- makers, 

Here is the voice of experience. 

" I am afraid I spoke in too loud a tone, when I made the 
law. I am not sober enough, jest too much ; and foolish 
talking and jesting are always attended by their appropriate 
reward, as far as I know. I must take immediate measures 
to remedy the evil. It produces disorder and vexation to me 
and the pupils." 

Young Human Nature. 

" Tuesday. All things as usual. E. B. very roguish yet ; 
his roguery contortions of the face ; moving round ; seeing 
and laughing at every movement another makes ; cutting and 
scratching slate-pencil, bench, or book, or anything in his 
way ; whispering every convenient opportunity, and stoutly 
denying his misdeeds, when brought up for them." 


A steady rein makes a gentle horse. 

u Unless I insist upon exact obedience, greater and greater 
liberties will be taken, until obedience is at an end, 

" It seems to me wrong, or rather injurious, to reprove one 
for general misconduct, even if it be manifest, without some 
specific instance of transgression. It affords them a shelter 
from reproof. My difficulties out of school have affected my 
countenance and tone in school too often, rendering me, I fear, 
a little irritable. Indeed, for weeks past, my countenance 
has been sad, if not gloomy, even if my feelings have been 

" Thursday, 20th. Found it necessary to speak, in the 
most decided terms, of playing in the Seminary and ringing 
the bell ; both of them crying or brawling evils. What will 
be the effect, I cannot say. Oh that I and mine feared God 
more ; then would they not need to be watched and warned." 
Friday, 21st., No more new pupils, nor am I likely to have 
any, as far as I know, except fiv^e males or so. Womankind 
avoid me. Eh ! well bien ; be it so. Then I ll close school 
and go to work to pay my debts. What I shall do, God 
knoweth, I do not. Am I young and unmarried, so that 
the female part of the creation fear me, or something else ! 
So it is said. Is it my fault that I am not as old as Methu 
selah? How can I help my youth ? I would not, if I could. 
But alas ! the way to China seems hedged up with difficul 
ties. What shall I do ? 

" There are two rocks here. If pupils are treated as 
though you expected them to do wrong, they will be sure not 
to disappoint you ; all manner of evils will abound the mo 
ment your back is turned, often before your face. The other 
is, that a few will always abuse the confidence you place in 
them ; and the example of a few will infect others ; till, if the 
teacher lacks in decision and watchfulness, his authority will 


be trampled upon, and he himself despised for his easy good 

" As a general remark, correcting individual errors in pub 
lic, has but little beneficial effect, either upon the guilty or 

" A growing levity in some, leads me to see my faults and 
their consequences. 

" It requires more wisdom to censure so as to reclaim the 
offender and retain the good will of others, than it does to 
flatter and praise a month." 

This experiment of school-keeping is drawing to a close. 
How the young man of talents and ignorant of the way to 
govern, struggled and breasted the storm gathering around 
him, we can only see through the clouds darkly. But of all 
the ships for young navigators to steer o er the troubled waves 
of life, none is more difficult than this same " select school" 
of special rogues and premature misses, sent not to be gov 
erned and taught, but to put on airs and patronize the teacher 
and encourage the school. See how he turns the bitter wa 
ters of disappointment into the gold dust of treasured expe 
rience. This is the right use of the " means of grace." 

" But the result of my school-projects is uncertain. Per 
haps I need the stern trial of poverty to compel me to learn 
that prudence which nothing else has, in time past, taught me. 
It may be that present difficulties and struggles will be the 
blessed means of preparing me to labor efficiently in the vine 
yard of the Lord. 

" About every difficulty originates either in my ignorance 
of human nature, or in want of self-control, which is never 
taught except at home." 

" Sabbath, March 2, 1834. Solemn sermon this forenoon ; 
text, < What do ye more than others ? i. e. to prove your claim 


to the character of Christ s disciples ; to prove, that sin does 
not rule you still? What I do, I can hardly say, but that now 
and then I struggle feebly with my chain, arid then it seems 
riveted more firmly than ever. Oh ! for relief from the chain 
of sin. I know the fountain is open in which its links will 
melt away. 

"Have fully determined to leave West Brookfield im 
mediately, for sufficient reasons. Very beautiful and brilliant 
rain-bow last night, after a rainy day. Its brilliancy in 
creased to the utmost degree of splendor, exhibiting a double 
bow by reflection ; then its brilliancy faded till almost extin 
guished ; and, as the sun was in the act of setting, it lighted 
up as distinctly, and almost as vividly, as ever. I noted, 
what I never saw before, a circle of red light, quite distinct, 
within the indigo circle, whether from double refraction or 
difference of refrangibility, I cannot tell. There seemed to be 
faint traces of several such circles ; the bow apparently con 
tinued after sun-set, for several minutes, perhaps ten or fif 

" Tuesday, 10th. Life is checkered. Some of the bitter 
is ever mingled with the sweet, lest we grow mad with too 

much joy. Yet to-day, a letter from my dear cousin D , 

tells me that she has given her heart to the Savior ! and that 
quite a number of others in Chelsea have become the friends 
of Christ. I ought to praise God and rejoice at this, with an 
heart full of joy, as an object for which I longed and prayed, 
and labored not a little." 

Here is the end of it ! Began Nov. 2, 1833, and closed 
the first period of his public life, March 8, 1834. Four months 
and four days, all he could give and all Providence allowed 
him, in this hard and thankless work. 

" Night previous replaced all the minerals, and brought 
home part of my things, in anticipation of closing school. 
Yesterday, brought home all that could possibly be spared. 


And is it true, in four days more my teaching days here, 
where I had so confidently hoped for a residence for years to 
come, will be over ! What have I done for the pupils in 
trusted to my charge ? The present term, indeed, I have not 
been faithful as I ought. My mind has been occupied, anx 
iously so, with the difficulties and discouragements of my situ 
ation. It has affected my countenance and my feelings, and 
so unfitted me for the duties of my station. Hence my mild 
ness and firm demeanor, or what was meant for it, has too 
often appeared sour and forbidding, and alienated affection 
from me." 



In October, 1834, he entered the Theological Seminary at 
Andover. Of this period, no record is found among his pa 
pers, save the following Certificate from one of the Trustees. 

" Theol Sem. Andover, Oct. 19, 1835. 
" Mr. Charles T. Torrey, the bearer, has been a member 
of this seminary one year ; and when his health has permit 
ted, he has regularly pursued his theological studies. While 
resident here he has maintained a Christian character. On 
account of the feeble and precarious state of his health, and 
his pecuniary circumstances, he is now, at his own request, 
dismissed from the seminary. 

In behalf of the Trustees of Phillips Academy, 



After leaving Andover, Mr. Torrey took a long journey 
on foot ; and although physicians regarded him as almost in 
curable, yet by travelling in this way, with the impulse his 
mind received from visiting new places, his health was re 
stored ; and, in 1835, he resumed his theological studies, un 
der the care of Rev. L. A. SpofFord, Scituate, Mass. With 
Mr. SpofFord he remained six months. About this time he 
assisted Rev. Mr. Moore, then of Cohasset, in a revival. In 
June, 1836, he went to West Medway, to complete his studies 
with Rev. Dr. Ide. Here he not only received the Doctor s 
theology, but was fortunate in obtaining the consent of his 
daughter to be the future companion of his pilgrimage. Octo 
ber 25, 1836, Mr. Torrey was licensed to preach the gospel, 
by the Mendon Association. From this period till the time 
he was settled in Providence, his history may be gleaned 
from the following letters. 

" Cohasset, Dec. 16, 1836. 

" My beloved Mary I have just one hour to write you a 
few words, all about doings and prospects. Reached Boston 
about 2 o clock. Had about an hour to do my errands. Of 
course did not go to Chelsea. Have since heard from the folks 
there ; all well as usual. At 3 o clock got into the Hingham 
stage. Reached Mrs. Beals s at 5. Was very cordially re 
ceived, so far as I could judge. Many kind inquiries were 
made after my Mary. So I told them some half a hundred of 
your faults ! Did, upon honor. Next morning made several 
calls upon old friends. Packed up a few books and went, in 
the stage, to Marshfield, which I reached about 4J o clock. 
The Hingham folks had as many excuses for not writing to me 
as there are grasshoppers in August ; none, however, quite 
equal to aunt Fanny s : * It wasn t for want of a will, for I 
wrote one, but neglected to send it ! That s what I call a new 
way to pay old debts. I don t know whether I made upon 


your mind the impression, that it was very uncertain whether 
I remained at M., notwithstanding the Commit tee had asked me 
to do so. When I went to Medway, I left it optional with the 
Committee to withdraw their proposal for me to remain 
through the winter, if they should see cause. When I re 
turned, they told me they had concluded that it was, on the 
whole, best. So next Sabbath will be my last there. I 
exchange with Mr. Moore, at whose house and in whose 
study I now am. If the Orthodox should recover their cour 
age, they may want me in W. again. But they do not now 
feel prepared to take a stand. I shall, God willing, go to the 
city on Monday ; and unless I see some prospect of employ 
ment soon, shall probably be in Medway once more in the 
course of the week, or the next week. The Lord will send 
me somewhere, if he has anything for me to do for him, as a 
minister of Christ. Pray for me, dear Mary, that I may be 
kept from sin, and led in the path of duty to God. And how 
is your heart, dearest? God has given me some peace since 
I left you, though I have had some bitter struggles with evil 
thoughts. I trust you have been enabled to overcome and 
deny yourself, and live near to the throne. 

" We had a very good temperance address here, night be 
fore last, from Mr. Taylor of Boston. Some of it ludicrous ; 
but on the whole solemn, pungent, appealing to the con 
science with great power. He lectures wherever the people 
will give hirn a collection for his Nautical Free School. Let 
me hear from you Monday. Direct to me at Boston. I shall 
stay at Mr. Bliss s some of next week. Friends at Scituate 
full of inquiries why you did not visit them. The Moore s 
all pretty well ; send regards to the family. My love to all 
friends, and especially the family. God bless and keep you 
in his love, and guide you by his Spirit, my beloved. 
Your affectionate 



"Chelsea, Jan. 9,1837. 

" My beloved Mary, I received your letter, dated Jan. 5, 
Saturday morning, and perused it with great pleasure. I was 
just about setting out for the city, but did not go till just at 
night ; and after wandering about an hour or two to do er 
rands, I went to Mr. Lord s. Found that he and Br. Rogers 
had made a bargain about me, without asking will I, or nil I ; 
but I was contented with it. So, after a night of pleasant 
slumber, and committing my ways to the Lord, and seeking 
his help, I went, in the morning, to the Odeon, and preached 
to the largest assembly I have ever yet addressed. Probably 
1100 or 1200 were present ; very attentive listeners to a rather 
long sermon. I felt something of the responsibility of address 
ing, even what I know is truth, to such an assembly. How 
many would be hardened by its exhibition ! How few, proba 
bly, would be savingly affected by it ! And under what awful 
sanctions does the minister of the Lord Jesus Christ stand, 
when he addresses them ; knowing, that even if he is faith 
ful, the truth will prove to perhaps a majority of his hearers 
only the savor of death unto death. I was enabled to speak 
with more ease and comfort to myself, than I could in your 
father s house. Text, Luke 10: 22, " Thou shalt love the 
Lord," etc. In the morning, Mr. Lord plead the cause of 
the sailor, in Park Street; and a good contribution in the af 
ternoon, and many tears at the time, testified to the interest 
he excited in behalf of the sons of the ocean. By the way, 
a sailor complained of my prayer, last Thursday evening, at 
the Bethel. He said to Mr. Lord, that I ( did not pray salt 
water enough / What s that mean ? * Why, he did not 
pray distinctly for seamen ! The fact was, I forgot the sai 
lor in the sinner; and, in praying and preaching, thought 
only of the particular sinners before me, part sailors, part not ; 
the majority, females. However, I shan t soon forget praying 
salt water. In the afternoon preached, on the subject of the 


death of Christ, at Park Street. Pretty full congregation, six 
or eight hundred. Made very little effort, contrary to the usual 
practice of those who preach there, but filled the house with 
great ease. Was heard distinctly in every part. I am in 
clined to think the difficulty of preaching there, is all a bug 
bear; that the trouble is, ministers speak too loud, but not 
distinctly. Of course, they are soon exhausted, and yet un 
heard by one quarter of their audience. I spoke slowly, dis 
tinctly, but not very loud, and the people were very atten 
tive. In the evening, I talked at the prayer-meeting, in Park 
Street vestry, and Mr. Homer gave me a gentle rebuke, as I 
walked home with him, fordoing so, after preaching twice on 
the Sabbath. He was very affectionate to me; the rest of 
the family, kind. All well. Staid there an hour, and then 
returned to Mr. Lord s for the night. Grandma interrupts 
me, by saying, Give my love to Mary, and respects to Mr. 
and Mrs. Ide, Isabella and all ; and tell Mary not to worry 
herself about your old wrapper, for he wears grandpa s cloak 
and looks quite dignified in it ! I hope to doff my old wrap 
per before long ; but when, I can t say. I hope the Master 
will send me to some permanent location ere long; but his 
will be done. He has always dealt kindly with me, with us 
both, dear Mary, though we have often murmured, and 
thought otherwise. But think you we shall, if we enter heav 
en, and thence look back upon the whole process of the for 
mation of our characters, under the dispensations of Provi 
dence, ever suppose we had too many disappointments ? Or 
one trial that could have been spared ? One cross too much ? 
Never ! What son is he whom his Father chasteneth not ? 
And then, we are always recalling scenes of sin and sorrow, 
while God s mercies, holy feelings, and joyous moments, pass 
away from memory as a dream of the night, and we feel as if 
our waking hours had been almost filled up with sin and its 
twin sister misery. But was there ever a cross, a trial, a 
scene of suffering, in which we have not found some mercy- 


drops mingled ? Some connected joy, to calm the mind and 
heal the wounded spirit ? Came home this morning, or rather 
noon, after an hour spent in reading about Animal Magnetism, 
and another in talking with old Mr. Andros> formerly pastor 
inBerkely for forty-six years, and Mr. Oliver, once of Beverly, 
of whom it was said, he ought never to leave the pulpit, or never 
to enter it. Spent the afternoon writing for grandfather ; and 
here I am, 9J o clock, writing to my dearest of all earthly 
friends. Aunt Fanny sits by me, reading the Three Ex 
periments of Living ; sends love to you. The letter sent in 
my bundle was a long and affectionate one from uncle Wm. 
T. Torrey. You may open and read all my letters, before 
you send them ; should like to have you. 

" Pray the Lord, not so much to give me a place to preach, 
as to jit me to preach, glorying in nothing save the cross of 
our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto 
us, and we unto the world. At least, it must be so with us, 
my dear M., if we are permanently useful in the kingdom of 
our Master. Thanks to Bella for her short P. S. Hope 
she may have a year of so much peace and holy happiness, 
that it will be a new year to her. I hope the next P. S. may 
be a little longer. Much love to her, to your honored pa 
rents and to all the family. Please send me some of my 
papers, and the tooth-brush, and some letters, in a little bun 
dle, by Miller, to be left at Peirce s Book Store. Hope your 
toothache has departed. I can toothily (rather than heartily) 
sympathize with you. Tis one of my old familiar comforts ! 
I know I need not ask my Mary to write soon. May God 
bless and keep you, guide and sanctify you ; and prepare us 
both for an open and abundant entrance into the everlasting 
kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom be 
glory forever. Amen. I am yours, in esteem and love, 



Providence, Feb. 6, 1837. 

"My beloved Mary, Though sadly disappointed when I 
found no letter came Saturday night from Medway, I feel hap 
py to resume my pen once more and converse with the one 
nearest to my heart of all earthly friends, except yes, allow 
one exception, and be my dearest still. Let me feel and say 
to one friend, There is none upon earth that I desire besides 
thee. And I shan t love you the less. But I really did feel 
disappointed, though well aware that you must have had the 
very best reasons to be found in all Norfolk county. Well, 
last Wednesday afternoon, I met the Maternal Association ; 
talked to the mothers and children ; stormy day ; very few 
present ; new business to me. Thursday, P. M. y preached 
for Mr. Blair, at his protracted meeting. That meeting has 
closed ; the results, not very striking ; a very few conversions ; 
about twenty anxious. Previous to the meeting, there was ris 
ing thirty cases of hopeful conversion ; and Mr. Blair told me 
that the seriousness was increased by the meeting ; for, a fort 
night before, it had declined. The suspicions about protracted 
meetings, so prevalent in our State, have reached but few minds 
here. Mr. Underwood was a great blessing to High Street 
church (Mr. Lewis ). Its numbers were about doubled during 
his stay here, and no evils resulted, so far as I have learned. 
But to return. Thursday eve, I preached again in our ves 
try ; and it was a long sermon, too, on backsliding. Doc 
trines : a backslider is one who, though once converted, is 
now living in sin, with few or no holy exercises ; us a back 
slider, being impenitent, has no more title to the promises, 
than any impenitent sinner. He must repent, and return to 
God, like a sinner, throwing himself upon naked sovereignty 
as his only hope. He cannot plead the promises ; none are 
made to him. None of his prayers are acceptable, while he 
continues a backslider. Have some reason to hope the Spirit 
accompanied the word. Friday eve was the preparatory lee- 


ture, in the vestry. Quite full and attentive audience. Yes 
terday, as I could not administer the sacrament, exchanged 
in the forenoon with Br. Lewis. Had an attentive audience 
of 2oO, though the day was snowy. Returned to the Rich 
mond Street church in time to partake of the communion ; 
enjoyed the season very much. Afternoon, preached on the 
law of God, " Thou shalt love," etc., to about 700 or 750. 
The storm kept many ladies at home. I was exhausted ; 
and in the eve appointed a conference, intending to say but 
few words; but I did preach quite a sermon, on confessing 
and forsaking sin, because it is in itself hateful. Somehow, 
my preaching lately all tends directly to two points, divine 
sovereignty and disinterested benevolence ; and here, as in 
other churches, there are a few who cry out hard sayings. 
This morning, you may well suppose, I was pretty much dis 
posed to cling to my couch, and to-day have made but two 
calls. Have been reading Helen s Pilgrimage to Jerusalem, 
a book of some real merit. You will have concluded by my 
not coming, that they want me to stay longer. I am to preach 
next Sabbath ; and on Monday after, the society have their 
quarterly meeting ; and the committee will then ask for in 
structions whether to employ me any longer or not. If they 
wish me to continue, the church will then act about a call, if 
they see cause. I have said to the Committee, that I did not 
feel it to be my duty to preach more than six weeks as a can 
didate ; a,t least, without consulting Mr. Ide. I do not think 
it will be necessary ; for I have no doubt most persons, if not 
quite every one in the Society, have fully made up their minds 
now ; and I have reason to believe the most are desirous that 
I should remain. However, the matter will speedily be de 
cided. My abolitiomsm and Emmonaitm might cause a few 
to leave, and would draw in some others. The friends of the 
slave are determined to have one abolition church, and the 
abolitionists are the sound men in doctrine. Still, something 


may occur to cause a struggle, and prevent my remaining 
here. Be prepared for disappointment, my love. I have 
endeavored to leave the matter entirely to God, and I think 
the hardest point to submit has been, that you would feel it, 
if I should not be liked here. Next Monday or Tuesday, 
God willing, I purpose to be with you. Pray for me, love, 
that the word I preach may both benefit me and those who 
listen to it. There is need of a revival ; the church, as a 
body, is very lifeless. Do let me hear from you this week. 
My love to your father, mother, Isabella, Em., Let., Julia, 
and little Georgy, and all friends. May your soul prosper, 
my beloved Mary. I am your affectionate, 


: P. S. Tuesday morning. Dearest M. Received your 
letter this morning. Thank Bella for her P. S. I trust my 
Mary improves in other things as well as in housewifery, 
May both of you live nearer to God than you ever have done, 
and grow in all Christian graces, as well as in those graces 
of this life which make home the best image of heaven 
earth offers to our view. I don t know how I wrote about 
my bath. I begin with face and hands, and end with feet. 
I think I have been essentially benefited by it. Friction at 
night, and cold water and friction in the morning, are truly 
delicious. Good bye. Let me hear again as soon as you re 
ceive this. Yours, C. T. 

March, 1837, he was ordained over the Richmond Street 
Congregational church, Providence, R. I. About a week 
after, he was married. Mr. Torrey remained in Providence 
till October of the same year ; when, by his own request, he 
was dismissed from his pastoral relation to that people. 

We give, here, only one letter, between the time of his 
leaving Providence and his settlement at Salem. 


East Randolph, Thursday, Nov. 16, 1837. 
" Somehow, 1 love to write to my dear wife, I think, 
quite as well, if not a little better, than I did before we 
were- * one flesh. I can think of her, and seem to see 
her, and hear her talk, and peep and smtYe, now and then, 
even if we are absent in body from each other. I was 
a little disappointed Monday night, and last night not a little, 
when I went to the office and no letter came from my Mary. 
But then I found up, as you say, a dozen good reasons 
why it should be so, and was tolerably contented. I do 
want you with me every day, to counsel, sympathize with, 
reprove and comfort me, not a little. But the way of the 
Lord is in the darkness, and his pathway in the deep. He 
hideth himself. And what he hath in store for us, he knows, 
and perhaps we ought not to desire to know, till the day de 
clares it. The benefit of most of God s dispensations would 
evidently be lost, if we knew beforehand what should be our 
portion in life. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter. 
I feel more and more desire to be with you. Without these 
separations, you have said sometimes, that I did not sympa 
thize with you, in your trials and sufferings. But it is not so, 
my love ; far from it. If I have erred, it has been in the 
other direction. I am conscious, however, that as a matter of 
habit, there is an almost constant concealment of my feelings 
on every subject, and a neglect of the expression of them, to 
an extent which you never thought of. I remember once 
a classmate to whom I was always ardently attached, one clay 
burst out in expressions of astonishment, when I casually al 
luded to my warm affection for him. He had never dreamed 
of it ! Now I never could tell, exactly, what had hindered 
me from manifesting my love to him by words or by an affec 
tionate deportment. Yet so it was. And whatever be the 
cause, I believe it is, in a measure, true of my feelings of 
sympathy with you as a wife. As to love to you, it has been 


manifest enough, surely. But we do often refrain from ex 
hibiting feelings which are very strong in our bosoms, and yet 
cannot tell why we do it. But when we do, we forget that the 
proper expression of any emotion strengthens it." 

Soon after leaving P., he simultaneously received two calls 
to resettle. The one from Randolph, the other the Harvard 
Street church in Salem, Mass., formerly under the pastoral 
care of Rev. Dr. Cheever. The church was so well united 
in him and in each other, and their views of the great moral 
questions which then agitated the Christian public, so nearly 
coincided with his own, that he considered it an indication of 
Providence, that God had called him to that place. In De 
cember he removed to Salem, and in Jan. 1838, was in 
stalled over a united and happy people. For a time he en 
gaged with zeal and devotion in the labors of a pastor ; soon 
his calls from abroad, and his numerous labors in the anti- 
slavery cause, diverted his mind from his duties to his own 
charge, and he found it necessary to yield the one or the other. 
He relinquished his home and the quiet of a pastor s life for 
the stormy conflict with slavery. 



It is but just to Mr. Torrey, that he should here speak for 
himself, and set forth in his own language his views and his 

We find a series of letters, prepared about this time, em 
bracing a review of a Sermon by Re v. Parsons Cooke. 
These letters, as will be seen, were written for the Boston 
Recorder, but for some reason were not published in that 


paper, although Mr. T. had been publicly challenged to re 
view the Sermon in question through the Recorder. 

We give largely of these letters, because they not only 
show good reasons for anti-slavery action, reasons which need 
to be read again and again, but they also give a very fair con 
ception of Mr. Torrey as a vigorous writer. We give these 
in preference to any selection from his sermons, because 
more in accordance with the latter period of his life, in which 
the community are more particularly interested. Mr, Tor 
rey was employed at this time as a Lecturer, by the Massa 
chusetts Abolition Society, and wrote this series of Letters 
at such intervals as he could command, while going from 
place to place. 


" Dear Brother, Before entering upon the discussion of 
the general principles involved in your discourse, entitled 
* Moral Machinery simplified, there are a few points which I 
desire to notice. The most of them may be arranged under 
this running title : 

Things in which we agree. 

1. " That it is very difficult to ascertain the path of duty, 
sometimes, in relation to a given object, or society ; and that, 
consequently, we need the teachings of the word and provi 
dence of God, received with a prayerful humble spirit, to 
guide us aright. And if a man enters upon any course of ac 
tion, without such guidance, and such a temper of heart, he 
will not gain the favor of God. He will be more likely to 
resemble Jehu the son of Nimshi, than Jesus of Nazareth. 
He may destroy the wicked, and repress open crimes, like 
the former ; but he will not be very likely to lead a sinner to 
the cross. And while the wicked man may be really useful 
to society, in promoting social order, and external purity, he 
will not, by such means, save his own soul, nor will his influ- 


ence have any very direct or special tendency to save the 
souls of others. Hence, if such a man, in consequence of his 
zealous efforts to reform men externally, is ranked, by him 
self or others, among true Christians they make a lamentable, 
and he a fatal mistake. 

2. " Whenever any tendency to exalt one branch of Chris 
tian morality or benevolence, above its just place in the esti 
mation of mankind, appears, it ought to be resisted, kindly 
but firmly. The cause of education should not be sacrificed 
to that of Missions ; nor the cause of the slave to either. Ef 
forts to promote the observance of the Sabbath should not be 
urged to the neglect of the duty of prayer ; nor should the 
importance of revivals of religion in our churches, induce us 
to omit to urge upon them suitable measures to bring men- 
stealers to repentance. Wherever this censurable tendency 
has appeared in our abolition efforts, I have always rebuked it. 
So have others. But it cannot be wholly repressed ; it re 
sults rather from the laws of the human mind, and the par 
tial knowledge and imperfect holiness of men, than from the 
peculiar nature of any topic of interest. Men are as much 
disposed to be * hobby-horsical on the subject of missions, or 
education, as abolition. 

" Yet we both agree that sometimes a particular object may 
have claims upon the attention of the humane and pious para 
mount, for the time, to all others ; and that their time and re 
sources should be devoted more exclusively to it, than duty 
would allow in different circumstances. May it not be so, 
now, in relation to the three millions of the enslaved? So 
long neglected by most men, in the church and out of it, 
is it not time to awake to special, penitent efforts for their 
rescue ? May not men urge their claims with special ear 
nestness, without being chargeable with perverting the gos 
pel, or over-valuing one branch of Christian duty or morality ? 

3. " That Consociation is but another name for a Pres 
bytery, I am glad to see a man of so much influence as your- 


self boldly affirm. Would that you, or some one, could wake 
up in our churches, and especially among our ministers, a 
more hearty attachment to the scriptural, anti-slavery prin 
ciples of the church polity of our fathers ! That Congrega- 
tionalists (including Baptists, Lutherans, etc.) can engage in 
efforts to spread the gospel, or relieve the poor and needy and 
oppressed, beyond the immediate neighborhood of their indi 
vidual churches, in no way but by forming voluntary associa 
tions for these ends, is most true, and a truth of no little im 
portance. A local church, if faithful, can succor the needy, 
and supply the spiritual wants of saints and sinners, in its 
own locality. But if its members have pecuniary ability, 
talents, and hearts large enough to do more than this, it must 
be done by a voluntary combination of their individual re 
sources, in a society, committee, or corporation. These asso 
ciations may, or may not be formed to organize new churches 
elsewhere. They may exist, to preach Christian doctrine or 
duty, or morality, according to the demands of the case in 
view. But for what object soever they are formed, they are 
purely voluntary ; the free union of individuals, to employ 
means to secure certain ends. Remark, if you please, that 
such societies are not formed by the united action of churches 
as such ; but solely by the union of such men and women as 
are disposed to form them. Each society may define, for it 
self, the terms of membership in it. These may be, a public 
profession of faith, in a Congregational or some other church, 
hopeful piety, or the payment of a sum of money, or sign 
ing one s name as a token of assent to certain doctrines and 
measures. But such societies are not churches. If any man 
assents to the terms of membership, there is, and can be, no 
way of excluding him, for hypocrisy, or anything else, not 
embraced explicitly in those terms. The character and influ 
ence of a member or members, may be dangerous to every 
interest of the church and the world ; but so long as they 


comply with the conditions of membership, they cannot be 
set aside. 

" And I will just add, for your information, that the terms of 
membership in the A. B. C. F. Missions, the Am. Educa 
tion, and in short of all our public societies for every object, 
set up no bars to exclude the infidel, the drunkard, the de 
bauchee, the universalist or other errorist, the atheist even. 
All persons, men and women, old and young, Christians and 
heathen, may become members/ by paying a given sum of 
money ! And every such person is eligible to any and every 
corporate or administrative office in these societies. What 
* wicked societies ! to invite good men and bad men 
alike to join in doing good ; in * preaching the whole gospel/ 
or a part of it. Good and bad men, professors and non-pro 
fessors of religion, virtuous and some vicious men, belong to 
all these societies. There is no propriety in saying that these 
societies are religious societies (you do not) so far as the 
terms of membership are concerned. The * churches are 
connected with them only through their individual members, 
who choose to join -just as the churches are connected with 
abolition or moral reform societies. * How liable are such 
societies to perversion ! some will exclaim. Suppose a 
( controlling portion of their members and officers get to be 
corrupt, or and- orthodox men. When money is the only 
term of membership, are they not peculiarly liable to perver 
sion ? One Foreign Mission Society has already been so 
perverted, in this State. We both reply, that we have other 
and ample securities, in the character of the officers, the vigil 
ance of the community, and above all, in the control of our own 
pockets, against such perversion. No man, however great or 
influential or Jesuitical, can control and sustain any voluntary 
society long, after it appears that he perverts its funds or in 
fluence, unless by the free consent of its supporters. If they 
agree to it ; they unite with him in changing its character and 


objects. It is no longer the same body in truth, though it 
may be in name. And here is all the security we need, or can 
rationally ask, that any voluntary society (not corporate, for 
a given end) shall not be perverted. It is the only real se 
curity, in regard to a church or any other jure divino society. 
Abolition, missionary, and all other existing societies, merely 
voluntary, stand, in this respect, on a common level. 

4. We agree that corrupt public sentiment ought to be 
reformed, by wise and proper means. And the means to be 
employed, must depend upon whether that corruption exists 
in the churches or in the State ; and upon the nature of the 
* corrupt sentiment which needs purification. One mode of 
action may be salutary and efficient at one time, and futile at 
another. Wisdom is profitable to direct us how to act for 
this end. We agree that the opinions of the public can 
be changed only by such means as will reach and mould 
those of individuals. Will not the united expression of indi 
vidual opinions affect the views of others ? Is it not one proper 
mode of doing this ? Surely, you must change the whole so 
cial constitution of man, before you deny it, or denounce such 
action as mean or anti-christian. We agree, also, that if 
deference to the opinions of one or of all men be the control 
ling motive in any given act, there is no moral virtue in the 
act. It may be beneficial to society, but does not commend 
the agent to His favor, who looks upon the heart. Hence if 
all slaveholders left off their crimes, out of deference to hu 
man opinions, it would not save their souls. But surely, it 
would be a vast gain, directly to every temporal interest of 
man, and indirectly to his spiritual interests, by opening wide 
the door of effort for the good of the two races. 

" Nor do we expect that slavery will be destroyed by the 
actual conversion of every slaveholder. The history of the 
world presents no example of such an event. Like all other 
public crimes, it has fallen under the ban of penal laws, when 
ever the controlling influences in church and State, were 


sufficiently enlightened and pure, or conscientious, to exe 
cute judgment and deliver the oppressed. So will it be in 
every State of our Union. And whenever the opinions, 
sentiments, and feelings of the major part of any slave State 
are what they should be, the work will be done. That proper 
means should be employed to make them right, we both be 
lieve. That it may be desirable, or necessary to establish 
many more churches, and send many more ministers, to 
some States, as a means of changing men s opinions arid feel 
ings, I may admit or deny. It is an open question. That 
more ministers and churches, and of a purer character are de 
sirable for this object and for the salvation of the bond and 
the free, I admit. That slavery will die without it, I believe. 
For, imperfectly as we both believe the South to be * evan 
gelized, I think the first principles of common morality and 
honesty are well enough understood by the mass of the peo 
ple, to authorize us to appeal to them, in condemnation of 
slaveholding; in order to secure the proper church and State 
action for the suppression of this crime. Perhaps I am wrong ; 
a few years will determine. 

5. We agree that slaveholding is a sin, more or less ag 
gravated by the degree of light enjoyed by the sinner. If it 
be a sin, then the commission of it is inconsistent with Chris 
tian character. That a man may commit this or any other 
sin with a very * limited knowledge of his duty in the tfase, 
and be a Christian, is what you seem to affirm (p. 30, bot 
tom, of your pamphlet). You seem to suppose some Chris 
tians slaveholders, now, to be thus ignorant of duty. Perhaps 
so. But doubtless that number is limited. It cannot em 
brace many educated men. No son of New England can be 
thus ignorant. No son of the South, educated here, can be 
thus excused. At least, I will hold that we agree in this, till 
you deny it. I would ask, with earnestness, when will the 
true light shine ? How many centuries more, before the 
slaveholders in the Southern and Northern churches will 


know enough, to be l without excuse ? Is the case so verj 
difficult of solution ? 

Your friend and brother in Christ, 



" Respected Sir, It cannot be questioned, that the aboli 
tion societies of our day, were chiefly in your eye, when you 
penned your discourse. Every paragraph is distinctly aimed 
at them. And though allusions are made to others, some of 
which mi glit be obnoxious to the same charges, it will be suf 
ficient for me to endeavor to meet your positions in the atti 
tude in which they are presented, leaving to the agents or 
friends of other reforms to defend their societies from your 
assaults. In doing this, however, I mean to meet your main 
positions fairly. Allow me to add, that I shall take little no 
tice of the jests and sarcasms with which your pamphlet 
abounds. If you employ them in reply to me, I will take 
into serious consideration the propriety of using such l car 
nal weapons, in retorting upon you. 

" Your general doctrine is, that voluntary associations are 
lawful and scriptural. Still, they may be needlessly multi 
plied, and improperly formed. Your object is, to find some 
principle, on which to separate the precious from the vile. 
You think you have found it. I do not. Your principle is 
unsound, or very imperfectly stated ; and the use you make 
of it, most clumsy and unrighteous, as I intend to show be 
fore I have done. 

" For certain kinds of voluntary societies you think (pp. 6 
7) you find a warrant, 1. In apostolic example. Notice 
that this society, if it was one, was established by Paul and 
Timothy, to relieve the poor saints at Jerusalem, in a time 
of famine, by pecuniary collections. It was no part of its 


object to preach the whole gospel/ or any portion of it. One 
object of abolition societies is to relieve the poor saints in 
the South, from a bondage which deprives them of legal mar 
riage, of the wages of their labor, of the right to read, or 
to know how to read the word of God ; and, in short, of all 
personal, social, civil, political and religious rights. If apos 
tolic example gives a ritual warrant for forming a voluntary 
society in the one case, some think it must, a fortiori, in the 
other. What say you ? 2. You argue the expediency and 
safety of such societies from the goodness of their objects. 
Surely the abolition of slavery and caste, are good objects/ 
That the goodness of the object of a society secures it from 
perversion, or has any strong tendency to do so, I question. 
And the simplicity of the machinery, in any case, only makes 
it easier to wield it for any purpose, good or bad. What ob 
ject so good as the salvation of souls ? How constantly per 
verted, in every age, has the machinery for this purpose 
been ! How simple the frame-work of Congregational 
churches; and yet, has it not been often perverted? Of 
all men, you will be the last to deny it. 3. You are in favor 
of such societies, because of the nearly unmixed good they 
have done ; which, you say, is a token that the smiles of 
heaven rest upon this method of doing good. So, I argue r 
that the nearly unmixed good, done in our land and England, 
by abolition societies, is a token of God s favor, just as truly. 
But you and I are both too orthodox, too wise, I trust, to affirm 
seriously, the truth of the general principle involved in your 
statement : Success in doing good, a token of God s approval 
of the instrument ! be that instrument a man or a society. 
The principle is not sound. The wrath of rnan shall PRAISE 
him Yet he approves it not. If a society or individual has 
a good object, employs right means, and acts from right mo 
tives, God approves ; not otherwise. That success or failure 
betide an effort, is no valid argument either way. What abo- 


lition efforts have done, I will notice hereafter. I only say 
here, that all your good reasons for favoring any voluntary 
society, seem to apply to abolition societies, in full force. 

" The distinction you endeavor to make, between existing 
societies, has no foundation in fact. You call the two sorts 
* benevolent arid public opinion societies. Both have cen 
tral and auxiliary societies, State, county, and local. Both 
employ agents, and use funds. You might have added, both 
have good objects, both employ the public press, arid presses 
of their own, both urge upon Christians the duty of prayer 
for the success of their endeavors. And here, you think, the 
parallel ceases. The first aim, chiefly, to collect and use funds 
for their objects. The second, to create, and then use, a 
1 public opinion, of a given kind, to a certain end. The one 
appeals to God s wrath ; the other to man s frown, to gain 
their ends. The one, you think, combine good men ; the 
other, good and bad men, to accomplish their purposes. The 
first employ the whole gospel ; the other, only l public in 
dignation, to accomplish good. These are all the distinctions 
you point out in your definitions. They will vanish when 
you look at them : 1. Good and bad men are combined in 
them. This is equally true of both sorts of societies- In all 
our foreign and domestic Mission, Tract, Bible, Seamen s 
Friend and Education societies, the only condition of member 
ship is the payment of money. In virtue of such payment, 
some vicious, and many unconverted , men belong to them; 
are life, honorary, and corporate members. If you do 
not know it, you ought to have known it, better than your 
4 young brother. I am not blaming these societies for it. 
Your principles censure them; mine do not. 

" To be a member of any abolition society, an assent to 
principles of truth, and a pledge to correspondent action is 
required, in addition to paying money. So that (if their prin 
ciples are true) they are better guarded against perversion, 
by the union of l bad men with them, than the societies you 


approve. To be a President of the Bible Society, or of the 
A. B. C. F. M., a man is not required to be a good man, or 
a moral man, or theoretically sound in theology or ethics or 
political economy, by any other or higher law than this same 
public opinion you so cordially detest. The constitution of 
these bodies are silent on such points ; they only require 
moneyj to promote their several objects. 

"It is true, that most persons interested in them are Chris 
tians. So are the great majority of all who are members of 
abolition societies, judged by your and my own standard of 
Christian character. And if the character of the membership 
entitles the one to support, it does equally entitle the other to 
aid from us as Christians. The argument is a frail one, in 
both cases. Unless, therefore, you are prepared to abandon 
all your favorite societies, because they invite the coopera 
tion of bad men, cease to attack abolition and other reform 
societies, on the same ground. Your way of escape from this 
dilemma, I will hedge up, by and bye. 

2. " Benevolent societies employ the whole gospel, in 
* due proportion and harmony, to accomplish their ends. The 
Tract society seems to pose you ; and well it may. For 
you dare not, on your responsibility to God, affirm that it uses 
the * whole gospel, or anything like it. It does not all * evan 
gelical truth, and you know it cannot. It aims to affect the 
opinions/ and lives, and hearts of men, by employing and 
spreading those principles in which its supporters agree. 
Precisely the course taken by the anti-slavery societies ! 
And let me add, on no other principles can men, who differ 
at all, in religious belief and practice, unite in societies to 
promote any given end. The abolition society unites all 
who agree to diffuse certain principles on one subject, to af 
fect the hearts and lives of men. The Am. Tract society, 
unites all who agree to diffuse certain principles on several 
classes of topics, for the same ends, to affect men s hearts 
and lives. Both take it for granted that men have intellects, 


and endeavor to address them (often imperfectly), that through 
the mind they may affect the conduct and heart. Some 
times both reach the mind, heart and conduct. Sometimes 
they affect men s conduct, and reach not their hearts. At 
other times they reach the mind, but neither the heart nor life. 
I admit that denominational Tract societies exist, not to 
preach, but to diffuse the whole gospel, as they understand 
it. And your principles would restrict each man to such so 
cieties ; your heart does not, because you are a Christian. I 
quarrel with your logic, not with you. Query? How is it 
that these societies for the spread of * the whole gospel, con 
trive, so uniformly, to leave out the abolition part of it? 
Why has no American, or denomination tract society printed 
a single tract on slavery ? i Echo answers, Why ? 

" In what sense the Education, or Colonization societies 
exist to i preach the whole gospel, it puzzles me to see. One 
is to furnish men with means to get an education for it ; the 
other does nothing towards it, in any way. It only takes men 
from one country and carries them to another. It spends not 
a dollar for religious purposes. Yet you support both as 
* benevolent societies. 

" Besides ; all these societies, alike, aim to affect the 
1 opinions of the public. Their support is derived from pub 
lic favor. If they do good to the souls and bodies of men, it 
is chiefly by affecting the opinions of individuals and of the 
public at large, so as to lead to right feeling and action. Some 
of them aim at universal reform, in the religion, morals, gov 
ernment, sciences, arts, ethics, manners and customs of na 
tions (e. g. the A. B. C. F. M.) ; and that too, not merely by 
4 preaching the gospel, but by schools, the press, and all the 
machinery of civilized and Christian lands. Universal reform 
is needed, therefore it is attempted. Those portions of the 
work are first attempted, which the means and numbers of 
those employed best warrant. In our own land, similar ef 
forts have already accomplished parts of the work of univer- 


sal reform. We aim to do what is not yet done. If it be 
right to form a society to do the whole work, where it is 
needed, I cannot see why it is not right to associate to do a 
part of it, where only a part remains to be done. The very 
right to associate to accomplish the whole work, involves the 
right to associate to accomplish any particular part. The right 
to form a Dorcas society, or a missionary society for the hea 
then, is a logical deduction from the right and duty of forming 
that society for every holy purpose, called a church. For a 
church is, or ought to be, both the one and the other. If 
more hungry men are to be fed than individual resources can 
feed, it is right to associate for the purpose. If more need 
clothing than the resources of the church, as such, can sup 
ply, form a Dorcas society, to do it. If the views and prac 
tices of the church and State need to be changed on one par 
ticular topic, and if need so require, form a society for that 
end. The only limits of truth and wisdom, as to the number 
of societies to be formed, are, 1. the objects to be accom 
plished, and, 2. the wise adaptation of any form of effort 
to the attainment of a given and good object. Here is a 
4 principle of common sense, by which you may try all socie 
ties, whether Tract, Missionary, Bible, Abolition or Educa 
tion, and determine their propriety. 3. Your benevolent 
.societies strive to reform men, by appealing to God s wrath 
to deter men from sin. Indeed ! What is the creed of the 
Colonization, Education, and Bible societies, respecting fu 
ture retribution ? Were you older than Methuselah, and 
wiser than Daniel and Solomon, you could not tell. Indi 
vidual members of them have all sorts of creeds about it. But 
neither of them, by its constitution, or through its officers or 
agents, presents any creed, or has a right to do so. They urge 
men to duty by various motives, of social enjoyment, public 
and private interest, and religious feeling; just as abolition 
societies always have done. But all these attempted distinc 
tions rest upon a common falsity, viz. that abolition and other 


reform societies aim to form, and then use, as the instrument 
of reform, a monster which you term now, public opinion, 
and then, public indignation. In my next, I will expose it. 
Your friend and brother, 



" My dear Brother, It is the purpose of the present let 
ter to state the true position of abolition societies, especially 
with regard to their intended effects upon public opinion. 
That you have mistaken and misstated it, will not appear 
strange, when we remember how uniformly you have opposed 
and ridiculed their principles and measures ; nay, how con 
temptuously you rejected information in regard to both, but a 
few years since, in a letter to this very paper. But with you, 
as with many others, the progress of our cause has wrought 
gradual changes of views ; till now, the sin of slaveholding, 
the safety, expediency, and duty, of unconditional, immediate 
emancipation, and the obligation resting upon Northern men 
and Christians to endeavor to bring about this result, are no 
longer disputed points. And so plain do they now appear to 
every one, that it almost surpasses belief, that four brief years 
ago, they were not only denied, but derided ; and made the 
ground of the justification of lynching and mobbing our meet 
ings and agents, by public meetings in BOSTON, NEW YORK, 
and scores of other towns and cities, and by the leading jour 
nals of the day. Thank God ! that day of darkness is now 
passed. Our general principles are now almost universally ad 
mitted to be correct, at the North ; and, very extensively, at 
the South also. The continuance of our associated operations 
but a few years longer, will leave none to question the correct 
ness of our doctrines. 

" Yet many men do not love the instruments by which they 
have been convinced of the truth. Our measures have been 


assailed as fiercely as our theoretic principles ever were ; and 
as vainly. The conviction is now fastened upon the majority 
of the reflecting part of the community, that the measures of 
abolition societies are only the common sense ways of spread 
ing and enforcing upon men s consciences and practice, the 
principles they associated to defend. The errors and follies 
of a few influential abolitionists have retarded this result, but 
they cannot prevent it, in the end. 

" What are those measures ? 1. The employment of public 
agencies, to utter our views in the ears of the community. 
The gospel institution of public preaching is a divine warrant 
for the use of this means of diffusing the truth on any subject ; 
to say nothing of its obvious adaptation to the nature and 
wants of mankind. Most of our agents have always been 
* ministers of the gospel of the different sects ; selected, be 
cause they were better fitted, and more disposed to this work 
than other classes of men generally are. 

" 2. The Press, book and periodical, for the diffusion of 
truth, the conviction of gainsayers, and the rebuke of wilful 
opposers, has been employed, to a great extent, and with the 
happiest results. Thirty thousand copies of a single book, 
Slavery as it is, have been put in circulation, all over the 
land, in six months ! chiefly, too, by sale ! Six years ago, 
five hundred copies could hardly have been given away, to 
men who would promise to read them. 

"3. The encouragement, and employment (in suitable 
cases) of church and other ecclesiastical action, to free every 
thing which is called a church of Christ, and every man 
called a minister of Christ, from all connivance at, or par 
ticipation in, the sin of oppression ; so that our common Chris 
tianity might no longer be disgraced and corrupted, by shel 
tering the slaveholder within its folds, or shielding his con 
science from rebuke, and his character from deserved infamy. 
As we both agree that * slaveholding is a sin, this measure is 
one of obvious duty. 


"4. The encouragement, and employment (in suitable 
cases) of political action, in the forms of petitions, the ballot, 
legislation, judicial decisions, and executive agency, to break 
the yoke of the oppressor, to execute judgment, and de 
liver the oppressed from the hands of the wicked. And if 
slaveholding be a public crime, a violation of the plainest dic 
tates and laws of social morality, the duty of such action is 
plain. No one who believes in the rightful existence of hu 
man governments can question it. Your deserved rebuke of 
those who deny the rightful authority of the civil power, and 
still employ or favor such action, would come with greater 
force from a man who had done a little more to promote right 
political action on this subject, than yourself. But deserved 
it is, and I will not abate its force ; they ought to have re 
buke and satiric scourges, from your caustic pen. And all 
who uphold their folly, are like unto them. 

" 5. Prayer, though last in order (save one), not the least 
important. The first abolition meeting ever held in Boston 
began with prayer. The first ever held in another city, led 
a deist to his Savior. Prayer has been our life. The con 
cert on the last Monday of the month, has ever been a favorite 
measure, one, I think, that you have adopted, at our recom 
mendation. Good can come from Nazareth. And ever de 
voutly recognizing our dependence upon Almighty God, to 
prosper all right means to secure the great result, we have con 
tinually urged on all men this duty, according to their vari 
ous forms of discharging it ; you, in yours, the Quaker in 
his. Tens of thousands of praying hearts, continually do 
cry unto the GOD OF SABAOTH, for his guidance and bless 
ing, in every part of our land. That we have always been 
guided by the spirit of grace and supplication, I will not try 
to prove, until you give proof that the old and new school, Tay- 
lorite, Unitarian, and other controversies in the evangelical 
churches we love, have been conducted and guided by that 
Spirit. I speak not to reproach these churches, but to anticipate 


the reply of a practised controversialist. More prayer might 
have prevented some of the errors of a portion of our gathering 
anti-slavery host. Hearty prayer may yet bring them back 
to their duty to the slave. 

" 6. Associated action ; consisting, as in the case of Bible, 
Tract, and other societies, of central, State, and local affili 
ated societies, to diffuse the truth, and facilitate the collection 
and employment of funds. 

" Our societies are the basis of all our other operations to 
spread, and urge upon men in their lives, conformity to our 
principles. This you, and every man of sense, knows. 
Hence, in attacking our associated action, you strike at the 
foundation of our whole enterprise. 

" What, then, was that state of things which warranted the 
formation of societies for the overthrow of slavery ? Provi 
dence leads a few men, Bowne, Lundy, Rankin, Goodell, 
Garrison, Perry, Tappan, and others of lesser note, to take 
right views and to feel deeply on the subject. What shall 
they do ? All existing civil and religious organizations are 
either foreign from or corrupted by SLAVERY, the very evil to 
be removed. What shall they do ? You reply, * use the church, 
or some other existing body, as the means of reform. The 
reply is, there was no church, or other body then ready to be 
used for the purpose. None could be fitted for use, but 
by the preparation of it, through changes of views and feelings 
in the bosoms of its individual members. When a majority, 
in any existing body is ripe for all the action properly re 
quired of it in the premises, so far the society s work is done. 
When all the existing bodies are thus fitted for their duty, 
our temporary society expires by its own limitation. When 
we have diffused the truth, and enforced it upon men s con 
sciences and hearts, till the major part of the members of all 
other organizations are ready to do their duty, we shall dis 
band ; not before. 

" But we aim to effect all this by * public sentiment, say 


you ; and public opinion is a dreadful thing. It will be so, 
in the day when the memory of the wicked shall rot / when 
the wicked shall rise to shame, and everlasting CONTEMPT ; 
when, in a word, sin shall become as infamous as it is wicked. 
We are willing to do a little to hasten that consummation ! 
True, we aim to affect public opinion/ How? By chang 
ing the views and feelings of individual men. By diffusing 
what we believe to be truth, in the customary modes in which 
men, in this age, diffuse their views on other subjects ; and 
by urging the truth upon the consciences, hearts, hopes, fears, 
interests, and sensibilities of men. In a word, we strive to 
address all that is in man, by the truth in regard to slavery ; 
and we employ all those modes of address, employed by other 
men, on other subjects. We utter truth in prose and rhyme. 
We reason, persuade, entreat, rebuke, denounce, and expos 
tulate, according to our several ability/ and as our judg 
ment dictates. We err in adapting means to ends, like other 
men, yourself included. Some of us are open to correction ; 
others, not just as in other societies. We have some wrong- 
headed good men among us, too wise to learn, and some 
bad men, (just as in those societies which make money only 
the condition of membership,) who don t wish to learn. 
But with all our imperfections, we go on, effecting such 
changes in individual opinions and feelings, as the world 
has seldom known. 

" But when you have your public opinion manufactured 
to order, you ask, what is gained? Profound wisdom! 
Question most logical ! I reply, We aim to change men s 
opinions, as the only rational means of leading them to a 
changed course of action. When, with God s blessing, we 
have gotten their opinions right, we expect, with his help, 
to induce them to act accordingly. When the opinions of 
the individual members of a local public, e. g. a church, 
in Lynn, or elsewhere, are right, we expect they will bear 
their testimony against slavery, by excluding slaveholders 


who persist in their sin, from the pulpit and communion table. 
1 What concord hath Christ with Belial? The individual 
members of that church, (having done all they could in their 
church capacity,) we expect, will continue to act out their 
views in social life, in every station entrusted to them. When 
the opinions of the MASSACHUSETTS public are right, we 
expect the legislative, judicial, and executive powers will all 
be wielded, so far as may be, in favor of liberty, and against 
slavery. When the majority of the NATIONAL public are 
right, CONGRESS will sweep away every vestige of slavery, 
within the limits of its constitutional power. Separate States 
will, one by one, do the same ; and so on, till the work is 
done. We believe slaveholding, 1. sinful, or a violation of 
the principles of the divine law ; 2. immoral, a crime of 
such a nature that church discipline and public law can reach 
it, in the persons of the guilty, if they cease not to transgress ; 
and, 3. in its nature, considered as unmitigated oppression, 
and a violation of every right, deserving to be classed with 
murder and other crimes, now considered infamous. We 
wish to persuade every body else to think the same, and act 
accordingly, in their various stations in life. Hence our 
measures. Individual resources were too weak to effect the 
work. We associated to do it. Societies have called into 
being all the other forms of effort we need to secure the result. 
They go on and prosper ; yea, and they will prosper, for * a 
blessing is in them. And we believe also, that so plainly 
true are our principles, so self-evident are they ; with such 
power do they appeal to the consciences and hearts, and hopes 
and fears of the slaveholders, that if we can purify public 
opinion, and induce right action, in the churches and States 
of the North, and thus leave them without sympathy or coun 
tenance in their guilt, the slaveholding States Avill abolish 
slavery in their own limits by public law. And we believe 
this the more, because the social, religious, business, and po 
litical connections of the North and South are so multiplied, 


that in securing the needed change in opinion and practice 
at the North, we shall secure an almost equal change of opin 
ion and practice there. And so, slavery shall peacefully pass 

" And this is the only way in which we propose to use 
public opinion. That you will question the propriety of so 
doing, none will be more slow to believe, than your friend 
and brother, 



" Dear Brother, Your general position is, that the church, 
by its ministry, and other suitable agencies, is God s ap 
pointed instrument to reform men ; and that those who form 
Abolition or other reform societies, assume to be wiser than 
he, and supersede the means of his appointment. This I 
take to be your meaning, though you have stated it in such 
forms, that it requires no little labor to decipher it. It would 
have been well, had you explained your proposition a little. 

" God, you tell us, has given us a platform and model of a 
reform society, in the church. What church ? The Episco 
pal ? The Presbyterian ? or in a Congregational, or Metho 
dist church ? If you answer, a Congregational church ; I 
ask, how am I to reform a corrupt, slaveholding * Presby 
terian or * Methodist church. You leave me no way but by 
going and establishing a Congregational l church 1 by their side, 
and under my denominational banner, hold forth the truth. 
In a word, if I desire to reform any body out of my sect, I must 
do it in a sectarian form. Your principle, as you state it, 
precludes me from everything but sectarian action. If my 
Methodist brother and myself see a particular evil in both, 
and in other denominations, we may not unite our purses to 
diffuse the truth, to overthrow that one evil ! We must do 
everything in our < church, or sectarian capacity ! Again, 


you speak of the gospel, by its ministry, and other agencies 
appropriate, and appointed by itself, as the divinely appointed 
means of reform. Here again, you talk mysteries. The institu 
tion of preaching, abolition societies do employ. They per 
suade l settled ministers to preach on slavery and its remedy, 
and men s duties to the bond and the free. And they employ 
special ministers, to preach, to supply the * lack of service/ 
on the part of others, and urge on all men, of every sect and 
no sect, the performance of duties so long neglected. They 
feel that special preaching is needed, to counteract the disas 
trous effects of former neglect of duty, and to roll back to the 
pit the dark waves of oppression. But what are those other 
agencies appropriate T For it seems the ministry is, after 
all, not enough ! I can think of nothing but the press, lec 
tures, discussions, and political action, and societies to collect 
and apply funds to sustain and urge on these agencies. These 
seem to me appropriate to the wants of the case. But these 
other agencies are appointed by itself. Appointed by 
what, or whom ? The gospel ? Where, and what are they ? 
In whom is the appointing power vested ? In ministers ? Or in 
laymen ? In church meetings V Or in a voluntary assembly 
of men ? Sir, I fear it would require a new address, to sim 
plify your moral machinery, so as to make it intelligible I 
If you have any meaning at all, it must be, that ministers^ 
and church members may appoint, and set in motion, under 
their exclusive control, any other agencies they think prop 
er; but not another man but they, must have aught to do 
with them ; a principle not easily reconcilable with the con 
stitutions of all our benevolent societies, which admit every 
body, good and bad, on the payment of MONEY ! But I 
confess you have written something hard to be understood. 
Perhaps some of our great men can decipher it. But what 
ever you may mean in this statement, I propose to show three 
things in this letter. And, 

" 1st. The l churches of every sect, were not prepared, when 


we began to form abolition societies, to do what they could, 
for the overthrow of slavery. At least the exceptions were 
few, and those almost wholly in the slave States. The Quakers, 
the Covenanters, Reformed Presbyterians, Emancipationists 
(Baptists in Kentucky and Pennsylvania) were alone in their 
testimony against slavery, and their exclusion of the impeni 
tent slaveholder from the ministry and the Lord s table. 
In nearly every other church, of every sect, at the South, 
and at the North also, slaveholders were welcomed to both. 
The number of slaveholding professors and ministers had 
been rapidly increasing for several years. The sinfulness of 
slaveholding, in practice, was generally denied, while in the 
abstract, a cold-hearted formal admission of its evil character 
was common. New churches were indeed formed, at the 
South ; but, far from exerting any influence for the overthrow 
of slavery, they were corrupted by it, and served only to in 
crease the number of slaveholding professors. The religious 
bodies of the North, of every sect, while they remembered 
the heathen of other lands, the sailor, the Catholic, the Jew, 
the drunkard, and the prisoner, uttered no voice of sympathy 
for the slave, or of warning to his oppressor. The religious 
Press was almost wholly silent ; or if it spoke at all, it was 
not to expose and rebuke oppression, but to express sympa 
thy with the guilty, with the rarest exceptions. What little 
sympathy for the slave still lingered in men s bosoms, was 
turned into the delusive channel of colonization on the hea 
then shores of degraded Africa. The great body of church 
members were almost entirely ignorant of the condition and 
wants of the slaves ; and there were no means in existence 
to enlighten them. Few could be persuaded even to read on 
the subject. Few houses of worship were open to him who 
plead for the poor. Few would assemble to hear his plea. 
The duty, safety, and expediency of emancipation, were 
generally arid scornfully denied. Compensation for ceasing 
to rob the poor and helpless, every where demanded. Eman- 


cipation on the soil, seemed the image of amalgamation, 
wild beasts turned loose, and a thousand visionary horrors. 
That man s memory is a short one, and withal somewhat 
treacherous, who cannot recal these and other facts, in con 
trast with the wonderful change which our associated efforts 
have wrought. Now, our leading doctrines are admitted to be 
true. Information is abundant, accessible to all, and widely 
diffused. The majority of the religious presses are decidedly 
abolition presses. Sympathy for the slave is warm and quick 
in many hearts once cold to his wrongs. More than one half 
of the ecclesiastical bodies of the free States have sent forth 
voices of rebuke, warning, remonstrance, and condemnation, 
in regard to slavery. Full 3000 churches have solemnly 
withdrawn fellowship from slaveholders, and many more pri 
vately act on the same principle. And probably full 5000 
ministers will neither receive a slaveholder to their pulpits, 
nor tolerate his polluting presence at the table of the Lord. 
And the social influences of religion, in private life, have 
been brought to bear, in a thousand forms, most powerfully, 
upon the hearts and consciences of the guilty. No southern 
oppressor now leaves New England unrebuked and unwarned. 
When you so fondly record the echo s answer to your own 
inquiry, What has abolition done ? we should suppose you 
had forgotten that echo only gives back the voice it hears! 
Like the man in Sleepy Hollow, you must have dreamed for 
eight years past, or else measured the rest of the religious 
world by the standard of the few in and around Boston, who 
know so little of the state of feeling in the churches, and 
among ministers generally, as to suppose the majority share 
their views, or sympathize with their expressions of feeling, 
except when, in rare cases, they correspond with abolition 

" But enough. The ministry and the churches were not 
prepared to act; not even to do their plain duty to the poor 


" The courses were open. The one which you seemingly 
recommend in your pamphlet and your No. s in this paper, 
but which abolitionists had too much sense and piety to adopt, 
viz. to vacate the title of all existing churches, which coun 
tenanced slavery, to the name of Christian churches; and 
then form purer churches for the overthrow of slavery. This 
course would have made endless strife, and only ended in 
forming some dozen new sects. And accordingly, when a 
few men, (the excellent and philanthropic CHARLES STUART, 
among others) proposed to change the mode of effort, and 
conform it to your views, the good sense of the mass of abo 
litionists at once rejected the idea. We did not believe in 
unchurching the body of our churches, without suitable ef 
forts to lead them back to their duty. And happily, as I have 
before intimated, we have been so favored of God, in this 
thing, that we have no occasion to resort to the suicidal course 
you urge upon us ! 

" The second course was the one we adopted, viz. to form 
societies to collect funds, and employ them in gathering facts, 
diffusing truth, and by reasoning, by persuasion, by rebuke 
and denunciation, as occasion called for the one or the other, 
to induce the ministers and members of existing churches to 
do their duty ; taking it for granted that timely and efficient 
labor would persuade them to it. Nor have we been greatly 

" Besides, we were Christians, but of every sect. We 
wished to lead every sect, every church, called CHRISTIAN, 
to testify, in its own appropriate forms, against the sin and 
crime of slaveholding ; so that our common Christianity miyht 
no longer be blasphemed. We believed that every sect of 
nominal disciples, however doctrinally or practically corrupt 
they might be in some respects, retained enough of love, or 
respect for the general principles of God s law, of natural jus 
tice, of humanity, and the requirements of the gospel, to war 
rant the hope and confident expectation that all might be 


united in their testimony against this sin. Nor have our 
hopes been vain. And we now believe, that in a few brief 
years, no church of any sect, will be so corrupt, as to tolerate 
the slaveholder in its fellowship. Or if one should be found, 
it would be an outcast ; and the whole family of churches, of 
every name, would repudiate its claims to bear the name of 
our Savior. We had no occasion, we have none now, to ope 
rate by seceding, and forming new churches. The old are 
good enough in all other respects ; many are now so in this ; 
all, we trust, soon will be. We did not choose to put a con 
structive or real slight upon the Founder of the churches 
of Christ, as you would persuade us to do, in your anything 
but wisdom. What did we need to do ? Individually we 
were feeble, our resources limited. Together we were strong. 
We needed to collect and diffuse information, to employ 
preaching and the press to do it, and to urge action in corre 
spondence with discovered truth and duty ; and the gathering 
and employment of funds to accomplish all this, was necessary. 
This must be done by some responsible bodies, whose charac 
ter was a pledge of fidelity. We formed, therefore, large 
and small societies for these purposes. We were weak ; now, 
we are strong, through the good hand of our God upon us. 
Soon, as the result of our efforts and prayers, the whole influ 
ence of the whole * church of God, of every sect, will, we trust, 
be turned in favor of freedom to the slave ; and then the ju 
bilee is near ! We formed a voluntary society, from the very 
necessities of the case. We could cooperate in the work, in 
no other way. We included, in the terms of membership, 
nothing but what was necessary to the end in view. And if a 
few nominal infidels assented to them and joined us, it only 
proves that in this one respect, they were in advance of your 
self. If errorists in theology joined us, it only shows that 
4 orthodoxy may sometimes be dead, while humanity and 
justice outlive correct theories, in the bosoms of men. But 
we could no more prevent such men from joining a voluntary 


society (had we desired to do it), if they assented to the terms 
of membership, than they can be excluded, constitutionally, 
from the Bible, Tract, and Missionary societies, which make 
money the only term of membership. The other two points 
I am obliged to defer to my next letter. 

Yours, with Christian affection, 



" My dear Sir, I referred, in my last, to three things I de 
sired to notice ; one was, that the churches were not pre 
pared to do their duty to the slave, when abolition societies 
were first formed. Another remark I wish to make is this : 
That if the churches of every sect had been disposed to be 
faithful, something more than church action was needed to 
abolish slavery. I. What could the churches do, if disposed ? 
They could exclude the slaveholder from the ordinances of 
the gospel, from the ministry of the word, and from fellow 
ship, unless he repented and reformed. They could, as 
churches, unite in adopting and sending forth appeals and 
testimony against the continuance of this sin and crime. 
And the various quasi church, or ecclesiastical bodies could 
do the same things. All this has been done, to a great ex 
tent. It will be done more extensively yet ; and indeed it 
must be, ere slavery falls. Congregational churches, as such, 
can do no more. If all did so much, it would tell, with mighty 
power, upon the hearts, consciences and sensibilities of the 
whole mass of slaveholders, professors and profane. Nor 
can other sects, as churches, do much else. We and they, or 
rather individual members of our, and other sects, might form 
voluntary associations, to send ministers to the South, who 
would dare to preach the whole truth about slavery, and 
establish more abolition churches there. Perhaps we ought 


to do it. What say you, to a NEW MISSIONARY SOCIETY, 
to * evangelize the slaveholders and their slaves ? whose mis 
sionaries shall preach that * the laborer is worthy of his hire ? 
who shall denounce wo unto them that use the services of 
their neighbors without hire, and pay them not for their work ; 
who shall, in spite of slavery and its bloody laws, teach the 
slaves to read the Bible, and then put Bibles and tracts into 
their hands ? who shall insist upon the sacredness of the mar 
riage tie between slaves ; who shall preach against selling 
men, women and children, * by auction or private sale, for 
gold ; who shall preach against the sundering of 150,000 
slave families every year, to make gain out of the poor ? 
What say you to such a movement ? Do you say the men 
who attempt it will be slain for the witness of Jesus ? Is it 
less a duty to die for him in America than in Sumatra ? It 
is my solemn conviction that the time for such efforts is come ! 
I do not desire to see any more churches established in the 
South, to lull the sinner to sleep, by folding him in their em 
braces. Let Zion awake, and put on her garments of beauty, 
and make war upon slavery ; and she shall be more * terrible 
than an army with banners. A few more Lovejoys might 
fall ; but the yoke of slavery would be broken ; for we should 
see that slavery could not endure pure Christianity. But for 
such efforts, 4 the churches are not prepared. Few individual 
members are so. We need more piety, and more reform/ 
in the churches first. 

" 2. Not only must the latent power of the church be brought 
out and made to bear on slavery but the STATE too must 
as such, it may be reached by legislative enactments ; just 
as in England, Mexico, etc. It ought to be, in law, marked 
with other felonies, as one of the greatest violations of pub 
lic morals, of private right, and social duty. So President 
EDWARDS predicted, in 1795, that it would be, in our coun- 


try, in fifty years, in 1845. May God grant it, for his Son s 
sake ! But how shall this end be secured, we asked, at the 
outset of our abolition efforts ? In one of two ways either 
1st, by confining our efforts in the first instance, entirely to 
the purification of the churches, and then, wait for the 
gradual influence of religion to mould legislation, without 
special effort to secure it ; or, 2d, to commence efforts, si 
multaneously, for the purity of the church and to secure right 
legislation from the State to aim at both moral and political 
action. The latter course was chosen, for several reasons ; 
among which were the following: 1. CHURCH and STATE 
action were equally important in their proper place ; equally 
obligatory upon the consciences of men ; and the same rea 
sons called for, and justified both so that in urging one we 
must, in effect, urge both. It was wisest to do it openly, and 
not cover up one under the folds of the other, e. g. to urge 
legislation under the cloak of religion, or vice versa. 2. We 
might secure many items of valuable legislation, by urging 
the general principles of natural justice and equity, before 
the whole, or any great part of the churches were freed from 
connivance at slavery. For after all, the great principles of 
truth and duty were recognized in our constitutions and laws, 
and only needed fresh applications to new statutes, to secure 
much good. Had you consulted any thing but dame Echo, 
for this history of legislation, these five years past, you might 
have known that we have been prospered in this respect be 
yond our most sanguine hopes. The present winter will 
witness the renewal of our efforts and successes, in various 
States for similar purposes. 

3. We felt that just so far and so fast, as the influence of 
the ministry and the churches was changed for the better, we 
could appeal with power and success to the States and to 
Congress, to legislate down the greatest of public crimes, 
slaveholding. And could we now point to the unanimous 
public testimony of all sects against slavery as a SIN, we 


could soon write it down a CRIME, in every statute book in 
the nation. 

Yours, etc. 



"My dear Brother, Having disposed of your main posi 
tion, allow me to make a few remarks on some lesser items 
employed in the illustration and defence of it ; your first po 
sition, viz. that the church is the only divinely authorized 
reform society, I have already noticed. It is not true. Civil 
government is an institution for i reform in respect of public 
crime, for the terror of evil doers, and the praise of them 
that do well. Yet civil governments do not oppose all sin ; 
but only such sins as are acted out in immoral conduct. On 
your principle, no Christian can join with bad men, or im 
penitent sinners, in maintaining the civil power. If you re 
ply, as you did to brother Tyler, that civil government is a 
divine institution, I rejoin, that in this case, God has com 
manded us to act on a principle which you proclaim unknown 
to the New Testament/ and the parent of all evil ! The truth 
is, that like all ultra anti-reformers, you have started away 
from the follies of Garrison and his school, and nearly 
reached the same position by going round the other way ! 
The very principle to which you object, viz. the combina 
tion of good and bad men, men of every creed and no 
creed, penitent and impenitent, to promote a select class of 
those moral and social ends which are aimed at in the law of 
God and the precepts of the Gospel, is the very basis of all 
civil government ; and every one of your arguments against 
your straw-castle, public opinion societies , is conclusive 
against civil government. Again proclaiming the truths of 
the Bible, and of natural justice and equity also, in regard to 
a particular thing which is both a sin against God and a pub- 


lie crime, like slaveholding, will have a twofold effect. 1st. 
It will lead some sinners to true repentance before God. 2d. 
It will lead others, perhaps the mass, to leave off the out 
ward act ; and thus secure great social benefits. In this way 
murder has been banished, while hatred to our brother man 
still burns in many a bosom. The gospel contemplates both 
these results, and, where it is faithfully preached, measurably 
secures them, directly and indirectly ; but if the regular 
administrators of the gospel, to a great extent, while faithful 
in other respects, are not so in regard to one crime, is it not 
every man s duty to proclaim this forgotten truth or duty ? 
May not two, or ten thousand unite, in printing, preaching, 
and praying, or sustaining others in doing so, till the regular* 
ministry change their course, and the civil power, following 
the church, does so likewise ? Meet this position fairly and 
directly, or else retract your whole pamphlet, for logic s sake ! 
Again your ad hominem argument in reference to the per 
version of abolition societies by some few of our coadjutors , 
falls to the ground ; inasmuch as our basis of organization, 
so far from setting aside the Christian ministry, only aims 
to lead the ministry to act in its appropriate sphere for the 
slave, to remember the forgotten claims of our brethren 
fallen among thieves. It urges settled pastors or bishops 
to do this ; and it supports agents or ministers at large , to 
persuade them to it, and help them persuade a slavery-besot 
ted people to do so. Some of your ad captandum illustra 
tions under this first head, I may retort upon you lawfully. 
Simon Magus may work well for a while, as President of 
the A. B. C. F. M., for he might be chosen according to its 
charter and by-laws. Ananias and Sapphira would pass 
muster as officers or life-members of the Bible, Tract, or 
Home Mission Society, if they paid their money freely ! 
Men who hate the objects of these noble societies, may join 
in large numbers, get the control of them, and turn them 
against the church and ministry, and you cannot rightly, or 


at any rate consistently, complain. They may reply to your 
groanings, Ah ! friend, thou art mistaken, this is the ism we 
subscribed to ; did we not pay our money, all that you asked ? 
Again mob-law. Would it not be mob-law, or wrong, for 
good men to agree to unite to aid the regular operations of 
law, in a lawful way ? To form a society, e. g. to * detect 
horse-thieves, such as exist all over this State ? Mob-gos 
pel , indeed ! when individuals unite their resources to spread 
neglected truth, and persuade the regular administrators of 
the truth, to abide by it ! 

" Your second objection is obscurely worded. It seems to 
mean (p. 12), that the members of abolition societies will 
join them from different views some to promote Christian 
ity, some to promote infidelity. Be it so. What is to hinder 
them from doing the same thing in regard to the A.B.C.F.M. ? 
MONET? But are abolition principles true and scriptural ? 
If so, to spread them, and lead men to act upon them, is a 
gain to religion and human happiness. If infidels have 
sense enough to see the advantage to spreading such views, 
or to aid in supporting civil government, I say, amen ! to their 
doing it. As to many infidel coadjutors, we have them not. 
If we had, it would not be the first time that men from the 
mere impulses of sympathy and natural conscience, had put to 
shame professed disciples of the Redeemer. Stones in the 
streets and dumb asses may sometimes rebuke teachers of 
the law. 3d. You assert that we assume a false principle in 
morality. That a man unconverted may be relied on to help 
put down a single form of depravity, while he loves sin in 
general. How much are such men relied on to support the 
preaching of the gospel in New England ? How much to 
sustain civil government? To enforce law and good order 
in society ? This same false principle of morality you will 
find every where, even in some divine institutions. Who 
relies upon their aid ? Does Jehovah ? He putteth NO 
TRUST in HIS SERVANTS. But he uses the aid of < wicked 


men for some purposes. And he authorizes his people to use 
their services to maintain law, public worship, spread politi 
cal and religious truth by the press, preaching, voluntary so 
cieties, such as the A. B. C. F. M., and abolition societies. 
How much they are to be relied on, in emergencies, is 
another question. Our * benevolent societies take their aid, 
while they will give it ; so do we. If any of them get the 
t generalship of the A. B. C. F. M., of Massachusetts aboli 
tion societies, and pervert them to evil purposes, if no other 
remedy can be found, we will leave them, and try again. 
But as for saying to such men, we repulse your aid, so far 
as you will give it to good ends, we shall not do it. If vol 
untary societies were churches, the mode in which their aid 
would be sought, would be different. But they are not 
Hence, they are welcomed as members in all of them. If you 
may ask such men to join the A. B. C. F. M., to promote the 
t whole of religion and morality, in a land where neither re 
ligion nor morality exist, then I may ask them to join an 
abolition society to promote some parts of religion and mo 
rality, in a land where the other parts of morals and religion 
flourish. And when you have turned all such men out of 
all our benevolent societies which ask only money as an 
admittance fee, come to us and ask us to do the same in our 
abolition societies, where some outward respect for a part of 
the political and social principles of revelation is a condition 
of membership. 

"Your fourth objection to reform societies (p. 14) is, 
that it is of the nature of a profession of religion to join 
them. The answer to this is already given by implication. 
Apply your objection to civil government. The suppression 
of vices and crimes is the great end of religion, so far as 
time is concerned. Men who love some sins, join with some 
Christians to uphold a civil power, the object of which is, 
so far as it goes, the same as that of religion. If their no 
tions of religion are confused, they will mistake this part 


for the whole of religion ; (just what occurs every where I) 
Hence they will * denounce as time-servers , all professors 
of religion" who don t uphold the civil power in maintaining 
a few limbs of religion, while the root of depravity re 
mains untouched ! Anti-slavery societies are not churches y 
but merely voluntary societies i to collect and use funds to 
spread certain truths, moral and political, about which their 
members agree, and urge them upon men s hearts arid con 
sciences as rules of conduct. 

"Your fifth objection is, that such societies give great 
power into the hands of a few, who may be bad men. And 
that such men have peculiar scope for gaining the ascen 
dancy. I reply : No societies in the world wield such tre 
mendous power as our Foreign and Home Mission societies. 
MONEY alone is the term of membership. Hence there is 
peculiar scope for bad men to get them under their control 
and pervert them to vile purposes. Do you reply : If their 
conduct is exposed, they will soon be without support ? Not 
if they have l permanent funds, or can gain unbounded confi 
dence from thousands of the community, so that the bad man 
or men cannot be separated from the cause ; and then, wo 
to the Christian ministry, and everything else that opposes 
the society s oracle ! Our abolition societies have no perma 
nent funds. The press is free to expose their perversion. I 
grant you, a few of them have been partially perverted. You 
ought to have recalled the Evangelical Missionary society, 
now in Unitarian hands ; the Groton, Cambridge, and count 
less other church funds, before you uttered a taunting com 
plaint. Churches, aided by trustees and the laws of the 
land, cannot always prevent such perversions. And if you 
are disposed to argue this point at length, I will fill a quarto 
volume with just such perversions, under ecclesiastical ma 
chinery, and by < churches, and professors of religion, it 
you will promise to bear the expense of printing it. Your 
argument proves a little too mucli for your purposes. 


" 6. You say, our principle of combination is an absurdity 
and the parent of absurdities. And you instance Thomas Paine 
and David Brainerd, uniting to abolish slavery, because they 
agree in regard to the great principles of human rights. You 
think one must confide in the other s assent to his Christianity 
or infidelity, in this matter, in joining an abolition society. 
Sir, have you yet to learn, whether it is Christianity or infi 
delity that condemns slaveholding as a moral wrong, and de 
mands its immediate overthrow ? Have you yet to learn, 
that while the Christian may condemn this wrong as a sin 
against a God of holiness, and grieve at the dishonor done to 
his law, by those who commit it; yet both the Christian and 
infidel have consciences ; may discover the moral turpitude 
of slavery ; may be sensible of the moral and social evils it 
inflicts upon the slave and entails upon his oppressor ; and 
unite in suppressing this PUBLIC CRIME by law ? May 
unite in sustaining presses and agents, and printing books, to 
induce men to do it ? If not, it may * edify you to learn that 
THOMAS PAINE was an officer of the legislature of Pennsyl 
vania which abolished slavery in that State ; and that HIS 
official signature, as Clerk, gave validity to that deed of Chris 
tian love and duty. Nay, more ; he was a prominent pro 
moter of the act ! And if David Brainerd had been a mem 
ber of that legislative body, and refused to aid him in the deed, 
everything holy in religion, or naturally good in humanity, 
would have condemned him, in spite of his eminent piety. 
My dear brother, the happy emancipated slaves rejoiced most 
heartily at such a noble absurdity, as that I have named. 
I hope to see more of them, before you and I go to heaven. 
If Brainerd will not help Thomas Paine, and every body 
else, by giving, preaching, praying, printing and voting, to do 
the work of humanity, justice, mercy and truth, save me from 
his * piety ! If he refuses the aid of Paine or others, in the 
same work, save me from his self-righteous bigotry ! The 
true principle of action is, the Christian ought to unite in ac- 


tion with all other men (not Christians) in doing everything 
that is right, by right and wise means. The time to refuse co 
operation is when something wrong is proposed, or unwise 
means to attain it are presented. This principle forbids me 
to admit an unbeliever to the church/ as a means of doing 
good ; but it does not prevent us both from joining the * How 
ard Benevolent society/ to relieve the wants of the poor, or 
the A. B. C. F. M., or an abolition society. 

" As your exposure of Mr. Garrison s inconsistencies (p. 
17) has no apparent connection with your argument, I will 
only reply to it, " Let him that is without (the same) sin, 
cast the first stone." On the other hand, I affirm, as a mat 
ter within my own knowledge, that thousands acknowledge 
their indebtedness to the abolition effort, for increased spiritu 
ality of mind, and zeal in every good word and work. 
7. Whether in unsettling the peace and order of society 
to some extent, abolition and other reform societies have done 
good or evil, depends upon the question, whether the evil to 
be removed, had not twined itself so completely through all 
the fibres of society, that such an unsettling was the necessary 
result of freely preaching the truth, and urging it upon the 
heart. But your whole paragraph on this point is unanswer 
able ; as it consists not of argument, or of facts stated, but 
verba verba inana/ such as, gaping after wonders/ 
spiritual quackery/ milleniums by steam/ gullibility of 
the people/ jargon of crudities/ etc., etc. All this and more, 
in twenty-five lines, from one who complains of hard words 
and denunciation 1 And here end your arguments against 
abolition societies. I have omitted none, misstated none, so 
far as they were intelligibly stated. Some few things, indeed, 
were too deep or too high for me. You will have inferred, 
from what I have already said, that our strong arguments 
in favor of abolition societies, are something more than a mere 
popular analogy drawn from the history of the temperance 
reform. The nature of the case, the wants of the slave, the 


claims of obvious duty, and the facilities for effort, in this 
Christian land, are a better basis of action than a mere anal 
ogy, however good. 

Your friend and brother, 



" Dear Brother, Your second general position, that < pub 
lic opinion, when formed to our wish, is not the best instru 
ment of reform, being true in itself, to a great extent, though 
not universally, I have little quarrel with it, I will, however, 
notice in passing, a few of your general proofs, 1. That the 
apostles never appealed to the numbers converted as a motive 
to conversion, or to induce men to examine the claims of re 
ligion, is a little more than you can prove. They relied 
mainly on the truth. So do we. They chronicled their suc 
cesses. So do we ; both that God may be praised, and our 
brethren encouraged to further effort. They tell us of their 
* new auxiliaries in Pontus, Pamphylia, Ephesus, Antioch, 
etc., just as we speak of them, and for the same reasons. 
They also knew, that when the controlling majority were 
christianized, idolatry would be made a public crime. So we 
know, in respect of slavery. The day, to them, was far off; 
to us, it is near ; and increasing numbers show it. 2. Pub 
lic opinion, or regard to the approbation of others, / do not 
consider * one of the meanest of passions. Rightly governed 
and properly appealed to, it. is the source of the noblest good. 
When God holds up before men everlasting shame and con 
tempt, as a fruit of sin, I suppose he appeals to it as a means 
of leading men to consider the truths by which they may be 
saved. It is an high example, and of binding authority. 
3. That abolition societies do not deal with the sinner s con 
science, is gratutious assertion, directly contrary to a mass of 
evidence which, of itself, makes a small library. See Weld s 


Bible Argument, Green s New Testament Argument, 
* Phelps Lectures, and books, pamphlets, and papers without 
number. Your assertion is a fair inference from, your premises, 
"but contrary \ofact. 4. That * public opinion is not always a 
right opinion, we know, and hence before using it as the in 
strument of reform -ed legislation and church action, we seek to 
make it so, by using appropriate means. But that a * reforming 
public opinion was t e foundation of the proceedings against 
the witches of other days, is a truly valuable historical discov 
ery ! You have made others, to be noticed hereafter. When 
the wrong l opinions of men, lead them to cherish slavery in 
the churches, and support it by law. common sense tells us that 
we must spread the truth about slavery, and change their 
opinions, in order to induce different action. When slavery, 
imprisonment for debt, and other like evils, may be done away 
by the action of the majority in church and State, we must 
change the opinions of the majority of that public, on whom 
action depends. And then, that enlightened public will do 
the needful reforming acts. Before they do, however, 
many individuals, by the force of truth, will be led to right 
individual action. But afterwards the majority of the public, 
by force of law and an upright magistracy, will restrain the 
minority from the continued commission of the crime. In 
doing the preparatory work to such a result, the gospel, by 
the ministry, by its social influences, and judicial or disci 
plinary acts, has its appropriate place. Individual and asso 
ciated effort to spread truth and urge action, have their ap 
propriate sphere. WOMAN has hers ; man has his. And 
if, when one part of those who ought to do a share of it, neg 
lect their duty, it will not be more strange if a man or woman 
get out of their sphere, to supply the defect, than that Ba 
laam s beast got out of hers in talking. Nor will it be strange, 
if some who neglect their duty, and perhaps find fault with the 
mistakes of those who try to do it, however imperfectly, 
should be denounced, not always with Christian moderation 


and meekness, but as upholding mob-law, or mob-gospel. 
5. * Public opinion societies tend to the cultivation of an 
unchristian spirit, say you. You are wisely careful, under 
this head, to insinuate much, and say little. I reply only, I 
see no such tendency in abolition societies. Their aim is to 
spread truth, and urge the performance of duty, on the pub 
lic, and on individual men. I see great tendencies in oppo 
sition to abolition efforts, to produce an unchristian spirit. I 
think I can give you examples, without number. But cui 
bono ? As you have misrepresented our societies, in saying 
that we rely upon a wicked world s opinions, in distinction 
from the force of truth and the right or wrong of those opin 
ions, why waste time in words about tendencies, either way ? 
I deny that abolitionists have * denounced their religious or 
their irreligious opponents, so much or so harshly, as their oppo 
nents have denounced them ; and stand ready to prove it, 
from the columns of the leading religious and political papers, 
as compared with abolition papers. But again, cui bono ? 
It is sometimes right to denounce; sometimes wrong; cir 
cumstances must decide. There ore important interests staked 
upon the result of abolition efforts. I ought to feel deeply, 
and speak strongly, when men ignorantly or lightly, and 
especially when they obstinately, oppose them. Nor am I to 
be charged with impatience of contradiction, etc., when I 
do so. And when we consider the incessant storm of abuse 
lavished on every prominent abolitionist, it is no great won 
der that some have grown morose and waspish. I defend 
them not. We ought always to be gentle, easy to be en 
treated, etc. 6. That abolition societies * unsettle the bal 
ance of religious minds, or make them hobby men, I deny. 
It is no more true than of any topic of deep interest to the 
human mind. I have seen a revival crushed by zeal for 
foreign missions ! It was made a hobby, and hobby men 
mounted and rode it. I have sometimes thought your op 
position to our abolition cause, was a very great hobby ! 


Your final objection, that we only aim to stop one (or 
more) issue of human depravity, without healing or dimin 
ishing the fountain, is the essence of all Garrison and H. 
C. Wright s objections to the operations of civil government ; 
and is as good in the one case as the other good for nothing. 
As abolitionism does not reduce to the authority of mere hu 
man advisement the argument against slavery, but con 
stantly appeals to the authority of God, to induce men to 
cease from this sin, and to induce churches and States to re 
prove and legislate down this crime, the gospel argu 
ment against all sin, is not weakened thereby. It pre 
sents a neglected and disowned portion of the gospel, to 
those who profess to receive the rest of it ; and so helps to 
secure the proclamation of the whole of it, in its connections, 
to all men. It seeks not to divide labor, but to do that which 
is left undone by others. And, if Paul and Peter were now 
living, it doubts not, that to exterminate slavery from this 
Christian and free land, Paul would joyfully become secre 
tary, and Peter general agent of the MASSACHUSETTS 
ABOLITION SOCIETY. If they were going to labor in a 
purely heathen land, they would not, but would do as they did 
formerly, viz. preach the whole law and gospel, to a people 
utterly ignorant of every principle of both. We address a 
people needing * light and love on a select class of topics, 
while in other respects they know their duty. Hence our 
present position. 

Yours, fraternally, 



" Dear Brother, You have a plan to abolish slavery. 
First, you delineate the course of the apostles, and justify 
their conduct in refraining from any very special assault up 
on slavery. Your whole train of thought seems borrowed 


from George Thompson s address in Boston, Lynn, Ando- 
ver and elsewhere ; and is, for the most part, just and forci 
ble. A few slight matters, I dissent from. I find no apostolic 
recognition of the fact, that under some circumstances, and 
with a limited knowledge of duty, a man might be a Christian 
and a slaveholder. What circumstances, and how limited 
that knowledge must be, are topics well worthy of inquiry, 
on the part of all slaveholders and their friends. How little 
must a man know, to excuse him for robbing the poor of their 
wages ? What can excuse him for holding man as an article 
of property ? * SLAVEHOLDING is sinful, say you. I admit 
it. I infer, that like all other sins, like property stealing, 
adultery, and murder, man-stealing is not consistent with 
Christian character. How much, or how long, any man may 
commit a particular sin and be a Christian, I believe the apos 
tles do not inform us ! I hope we shall never know ! But 
that the slaveholders of America are * without excuse , may 
be seen in the fact, that the same statute book which care 
fully strips the colored man of every right, with equal care, 
guards every right of the white man ! The same men who 
exercise the power of robbing the black man of his rights, 
know how to respect the same rights in the white man ! But 
God judgeth the heart of each man. I do not. I only af 
firm the guilt of the sin, and its inconsistency with piety and 
honesty, and warn men to leave it off. 

" 2. You admit that minisers ought to be more direct 
in preaching against slavery, than the apostles were. Agreed ; 
the terrors of apostolic example neglected, no longer cluster 
about us. We are placed in different circumstances and have 
different duties. So the missionaries in the Sandwich Islands 
may laudably adhere closely to apostolic example there, where 
the whole work of enlightening the mind and creating law is 
to be done ; while they send home fervent exhortations to us 
to act more directly against slavery, in a land of gospel light 
and constitutional liberty like ours. Oh, that all southern, 


and all northern ministers would be, not a little, but a good 
deal more direct in preaching against slavery. It would be a 
great help to our struggling cause. My dear brother, I beg 
you to write and print an address to them, to urge this duty \ 
At least 5000 of them now discharge it. The Lord hasten 
the day when the few slaveholding ministers of Massachusetts 
shall be alone in neglecting it ! Don t ask me who they are, 
while southern slaveholders find access to northern pulpits ! 

"3. Paul sent Onesimus back to Philemon ! Well, 
you have found out that he did not send him back to be a 
slave. I think it plain that he sent him back to be e- 
mancipated. Knowing the faith and love of Philemon ; 
knowing how very plainly his own preaching had shown 
Philemon the irreconcilable hostility between slaveholding 
and piety ; knowing that Philemon hated slavery and would 
not practice it, and desirous that Onesimus, now a Christian 
bishop, should have the civil benefits and legal rights of a 
freeman, he sends him with an inspired letter of introduction, 
back to his brother beloved, to be received as a dear friend, 
even as Paul the aged. Paul will even pay Onesimus 
debts ! or make up for his thefts when a slave ! if he ever 
was one. Whenever I have as good evidence of the * obe 
dience of any converted slaveowner, and can send back 
converted slaves transformed into ministers of the gospel, 
with inspired letters of introduction, I will send them back to 
their masters ; but in every other case, I shall treat the poor 
fugitive according to the law of God Deut. xxiii. 1C. In 
a word, this epistle of Philemon utterly condemns every 
slaveholder who is converted, and then holds on to his slaves 
still. No man, guided by its letter or spirit, could hold man 
in chattel-slavery an hour. 

" 4. You suppose that we have closed up our way of 
access to the minds of slaveholders, by telling them plain 
ly to * let the oppressed go free. You are mistaken. The 
misrepresentations of the northern servile press closed up the 


door of effort for a time. Now it is opening more and more 
widely on every hand. The south now understand us better, 
because of our publications which have been widely read 
there ; and we have every reason to believe that we shall dis 
cuss slavery in three years as freely in New Orleans, as we 
now do in Delaware and parts of Virginia and Maryland, or 
in the free States. * Christ crucified, by which I suppose 
you mean the atonement and its kindred doctrines, have long 
been known and preached all over the South. But slavery 
has grown stronger and stronger. The anti-slavery part of 
divine truth has been hid under a bushel. It is this that 
needs to be urged at the south and at the north ; and then, 
the prison doors will open before the Lamb of God. Your 
cautious way of preaching, has preached 150,000 slave-hold 
ers into Christian churches! It is high time to enlighten 
them, and strive to bring them to repentance, or turn them 
out again, if they will not give up their sin. This we are 
trying to do. Not a few have already been led to repentance 
by our efforts ; others are under conviction ; others blas 
pheme, as we expected. One of the penitent ones, Dr. NEL 
SON, has told us, that the stand taken by those northern 
Christians who hold back from abolition efforts, is the great 
est obstacle he finds in leading his friends who hold slaves, to 
repentance. Oh, that you, my dear brother, would hear the 
truth from his lips the lips of a penitent, reformed slave 
holder a slaveholder no longer. 

" 5. I am surprised to see you avow that you think 
that the fact that the lives of abolitionists were endangered 
by going to the south, a proof that they were wrong in their 
principles and measures ! Surely, this is one of your ultra- 
isms ; not a sober opinion. On such a principle, every mar 
tyrdom to truth is justifiable ; but you are surely straining 
a point here, and not arguing soberly. 

" Before closing this letter, allow me to notice some more 
of your historical discoveries. 1. That the feudal system 


was slavery, chattel-slavery, and that it was done away by 
Christianity, Had you ever glanced over Sismondi s literary 
and historical works, to say nothing of the life of Napoleon, 
you would have made no such assertion. Infidelity and war 
had quite as much to do with its extirpation, as the Bible and 
Christianity ; and commerce much more. 2. That the aboli 
tion of slavery was effected in the now free States, without 
abolition societies ! Shades of Jay, Woolman, Benezet, 
Franklin, Sewall, Edwards and Rush ! How soon are your 
memories, and your associated and successful efforts forgot 
ten ! Not by abolitionists but by those who oppose them, 
in the face of all history. Surely, you need to refresh the 
knowledge of your * school boy days, ere you make such a 
statement again, lest the * uncircumcised laugh at you. 3. 
That West India emancipation was not the work of societies 
acting on the same principles as our abolition societies ! ! ! 

Oh pro , I was about to burst out in Latin, the better to 

cover up my indignation at a falsehood so notorious, so glar 
ing. That you meant to deceive, I will not believe ; yet, it 
is hard to suppose a man of your intelligence so ignorant of 
facts. Perhaps it was a lapsus pennae ! 4. That no influ 
ence from this country had the weight of a feather in effect 
ing British emancipation! Here, again, I impeach your 
competency to testify you speak ignorantly. 5. Lady echo 
has told you, that abolitionists have done nothing ! I some 
times think that you have repeated this till you believe it. 
GLADSTONE, the great Demarara slaveholder, is said to have 
taunted the abolitionists in Parliament, the very night the 
emancipation bill passed, that they had labored forty years 
and done nothing ! You ought to know better the state of 
our cause than to make a similar assertion. You ought to 
know that the visible results of efforts in such a cause, bear, 
at first, small proportion to the real changes wrought. As in 
the missionary field, so here, the preparatory work seems la 
bor wasted to the unthinking. True, we have procured leg- 


islative enactments and judicial decisions favorable to free 
dom in several States; true, we have excited church and 
ecclesiastical action all over the north ; true, we have called 
into being, and now employ an array of means to spread our 
views and enforce them on men s hearts, in every part of the 
land; true, we have emancipated many hundreds of slaves 
by our efforts ; true, we have ample encouragement from in 
telligent slaveholders to go on ; true, we have placed our 
tried friends in the halls of legislation to plead for the poor ; 
true, we have awakened discussion, all over the land, never 
again to cease, till slavery dies ; true, we have led hundreds 
of thousands to think, and feel and pray for the overthrow of 
slavery, as they ought ; but you go to echo s cave still, and 
cry where ! and therefore come away unacquainted with 
the state and progress of our cause. Still, I see in your 
pamphlet, as compared with some former effusions, indica 
tions of our influence in leading you on in knowledge and 
duty ; and therefore I despair not of the hardest cases ! 
Your affectionate friend, 

Worcester, Nov. 30, 1839. 




During the latter part of the year 1839, Mr. Torrey was 
engaged in lecturing on the subject of slavery. He contin 
ued in this employment most of the time, occasionally edit 
ing a paper, till the commencement of the year 1842. We 
give a single letter of this period. 


" Wiscasset, Aug. 21, 1841. 

" My Dearest Wife, I am homesick, with long waiting in 
vain to hear from you, and moreover, begin to suspect that 
the quickest way to get a good long letter, will be to set you 
a good example ! Besides, I have got my hand in, for letter- 
writing to-day, this being my sixth letter. I have had a 
fortnight s hard labor, and rather more, since I left our dear, 
dear home. I have lectured every evening, about two hours, 
each night ; besides one afternoon lecture of 2J hours. I 
have given, therefore, eighteen lectures already. I have been 
regularly tired out, once a day, and rested again almost every 
day, not quite. But I feel better and stronger than I did 
last week. And the thought that I am toiling for my belov 
ed wife and children will help me to go on, though the ser 
vice be a hard one. I feel renewed confidence in our heav 
enly Father, that he will provide for us, even though I can 
not see how it may be done, farther ahead than the Spring. 
But how many, holier and better than we are, have not had 
where to lay their heads, or means of living even for one 
day ! Tried as I am in regard to it, I do believe He will 
open some path before us, by which we may be fed and pro 
vided for, so that it may be honest before Him, and before 
our fellow men also. 

" I go hence to Waldoboro , Thomaston, Camden, Belfast, 
(where I shall be the 31st and hope to find a letter from 
my dear Mary I have had none yet,) and then up to Wa- 
terville, and other towns, on the river from Hallowell. My 
next move from this place, will take me to green fields again, 
I hope, and then, to my Mary. Mary, can we not love one 
another with the freshness and purity, and tenderness of our 
first affection ? I was thinking of it much the other night, 
as I spent a long while, after midnight, praying for you and 
myself, and thinking over how much holier and happier we 
might be, if we had more forbearing tenderness for each 


other. Oh ! Mary, you are very dear to me ! Oh ! if we loved 
our Saviour better, we should love one another more tender 
ly. May his love rest upon us, and be in us. Tell Charlie, 
Pa loves him, and prays for him, every day, that he may be 
a good boy, and love God, and rnind mother, and love sister. 
Kiss little Mary for me, and don t let her forget papa ; and 
may the love of God rest upon all the members of my dear 
household. Remember me to all our friends ; and write me 
at Belfast, by next Wednesday. If you want any thing, let 
me know. And now, beloved, I commend you to God, and 
the word of His grace. 

I am your affectionate husband, 


The winter of this year, he spent at Washington, as a 
correspondent for several papers, in Boston, New York, 
and other places. His family at this time were in Boston. 
As he has been somewhat censured for leaving them at this 
time with scanty means of support, it is but just that he 
should be permitted to speak of his pecuniary embarras- 
ments as they pressed upon him. That it was exceedingly 
difficult for him to labor with others, either as a pastor, a lec 
turer, or an editor, we do not deny. He was not a regular 
planet, nor a fixed star in the firmament of mankind. Com 
et-like, he had his own orbit. It was difficult for him to earn 
money ; but, that he felt deeply for his family, not only his 
letters, but his nights of toil, and long days of labor with 
scanty fare, testify. More than once he could have signed 
his long and vigorous productions, like the great unfed Ras- 
selas, " Charles T. Torrey without a dinner" During all 
this time, let it be remembered, he had a debt of five hun 
dred dollars upon him, contracted while getting his education. 

It will be seen by the following letter, that Mr. Torrey 
reached Washington in December, 1841. 


" Washington, Dec. 13, 1841. 

" My Beloved Mary, I think of you so much, and I have 
so many things to say, that I must begin a long letter, even 
if it is not finished this morning. You will see, in the Evan 
gelist, which I have directed to be sent to you, my account 
of matters and things during the session of last week. The 
people s right of petition, for the time being, is again destroy 
ed. But the subject of abolition cannot be kept out of Con 
gress. We shall get it in, in a multitude of forms, before the 
session closes. I have so many things to say, I must begin 
item by item. 1. I want you to find my volume of cata 
logues, up stairs, and send me a list of all the names of 
Southerners, in the catalogue of 1832, in the College classes, 
with their residence ; for example, write them thus : 

6 John P. Bobbins, Snow Hill, Md. 

I am sorry to give you this trouble, but I forgot the book 
when I left home. By the way, I have but one pocket 
handkerchief, but I shall get one or two more soon. 2. I ex 
pect to write to cousin Charles J. Peterson s paper, which 
will add a few dollars more, weekly, to my income. I shall 
send it to you. The first number will probably contain a 
new Tale, I have written since I came here, founded on the 
story you have heard me tell. So in temporal matters, God 
is still prospering me. I have hope of getting still more to do, 
yet. As it is, with common diligence and good health, our 
living is safe till next August. So God is kind to the evil 
and unthankful. Let us strive, my dear love, to be more 
grateful. 3. My daily routine is about this : a breakfast 
at 8 to 8i ; write till 11 J, or mend my clothes, or do any little 
chores of that sort ; then walk up the street to the Capitol. 
The House meet at 12, and remain in session, now, about an 
hour. I take notes of their doings, talk with the few members 
and others, I know, for a while, read a little, go to the Post- 


Office, and get home a little before dinner, which is 3 o clock. 
After dinner, I write again, till supper. Several evenings, I 
have been out, others at home, writing. I get to bed about 
12 rather late hours, but that is the custom here. One even 
ing, I spent very pleasantly with Mr. Slade, of Vermont; he 
is a warrn-hearted Christian ; I was very much pleased with 
him. I have not delivered any other of my letters of intro 
duction yet. I have renewed my acquaintance with Mr. 
Borden, of Fall River, with whom I spent one very pleasant 
evening, and with Mr. Saltonstall, of Salem ; with Mr. Gid- 
dings, of Ohio, and brother Leavitt, I spent a long evening, 
Saturday night. Mr. Giddings is a plain, frank, open-hearted 
man ; I feel quite attached to him. Another evening I went 
into a debating society, which meets weekly ; I rather think, 
I shall join it ; it has many literary men of high standing 
among its members. The society with which I have mingled, 
hitherto, has been, on the whole, quite agreeable ; and if you 
and the dear children were here, I should not desire to be 
happier. 4. In my boarding house, there are some little 
matters worth mentioning. The landlady, Mrs. Padgett, is 
a Methodist woman ; she appears to be a worthy woman ; 
hires slaves as help ; I believe she owns none, but of course, 
she would not object to it. Her children, except one daugh 
ter, are away ; she, is lame, engaged, etc. 

" 5. Yesterday morning, I went into the Baptist church, and 
heard a tolerable sermon, from a young man. In the after 
noon, I went to a colored church, one of the i Wesleyan/ so 
called, a denomination of Methodists, who have separated en 
tirely from white slaveholding churches ; they are all colored. 
There was no sermon, only a class-meeting ; but I have not 
enjoyed the i communion of saints, so much, for a long time, 
as when mingling with that little band of despised colored 
people, partly slaves ; and, when one of the poor women, 
nearly white, spoke of the persecution she endured, with 
sobs, I felt my heart filled with new energy to make war upon 


that hateful institution that so crushes the disciples of the 
Lord to the earth. I have determined to commune only 
with the colored churches, while I stay here ; I will strive to 
be pure from the blood of the poor. I have had much more 
communion with God, since I came here, than for months 
before ; pray for me. By the way, I learn that the good old 
colored minister, from Georgetown, D. C., who, you will re 
collect, came to our house in Salem, succeeded in getting 
money enough to redeem his grandchild and its mother. I 
refer to Mr. Cartwright. I am going to see him soon, and 
then I shall write out his whole history for publication. It 
will be of thrilling interest ; I have often made the stout 
hearted weep by the imperfect recital of it. 

6. I met quite unexpectedly, in the street, yesterday, a 
dear old friend and bed-fellow, liufus W. Clark, of New- 
buryport. He is now a minister, and will, I expect, be 
chosen one of the chaplains of Congress. It was a treat to 
meet with one whom I have long known and loved, as a dear 
friend and devoted Christian. It is he who writes for the 
Boston Recorder. 7. I inclose you a couple of nicknacs, 
hold them between the light and the wall, in the evening, and 
you have fine heads of the Saviour and the Virgin Mary. I 
cut them out after a pattern, because I thought they might 
please you. Perhaps, if they reach you in season, you can 
cut out a few, by this pattern, for the ladies Fair ; they ought 
to be on stiff pasteboard. 

Tuesday, 14th, no letter yet from my dear wife ! I have 
been to the Post-Office with more and more hope, for several 
days past, but found no letter, till I have become a little, just 
the least bit in the world, homesick ! I do want to see you 
all once more. But it must be some months first. I have 
been hoping to receive some letters about corresponding with 
more papers in New England, so that I could enlarge your 
means of comfort and enjoyment, and hope I shall yet. 

I wish, when you write, you would take a large sheet, like 


this, and fill it full. If you send me that list of names, it will 
take one sheet by itself, almost, so don t give me nothing 
but that for a feast. Tell dear Charles, Papa thinks of him, 
every day, and wants to have him love mother, and mind her, 
and be good to little sister. Kiss little Mary for Pa, and tell 
her, Pa says she must be a good child. My love to aunt 
Fanny, Mr. Collins family, and all our friends. How are 
you getting on ? Is Phebe well, and a good girl ? Have 
you any boarders engaged ? Write soon, and let me know 
all about yourself? I am, dear Mary, 
Your affectionate husband, 


Early in January, Mr. Torrey went to Annapolis, Mary 
land, to report the proceedings of a slaveholders convention. 
What befel him there, you have in his own words, as com 
municated in the following letter to the New York Evan 

" Washington, Jan, 23, 1842. 

" Messrs. Editors, I propose to give you, first, a correct 
account and analysis of the proceedings of the slaveholders* 
convention at Annapolis ; and then, a narrative of my own ad 
ventures among the hospitable people of that ancient capital 
of Maryland. I reached Annapolis on the morning of the 
12th ult. The cars were filled with delegates, busy in whis 
pered discussions of what was to be done to defend the insti 
tution loved of all the patriarchs, from the joint assaults of 
northern freedom, low prices of tobacco, and consequently of 
human cattle, and from the evident and increasing numerical 
preponderance of free laborers, white and colored, over the 
slaveholders. A large part, even of those in Maryland, who 
hate slavery, led away by the false political economy and de 
lusive philanthropy of their unsuccessful effort to colonize the 
people of color, have no very clear or consistent notions of any 
possible scheme of converting their discontented, profitless 


slaves, into industrious free laborers, like the colored men of 
the North. Light, however, is gradually increasing. 

" From the morning I reached Annapolis, I noticed looks 
of suspicion and inquiry cast upon me, and an occasional 
whispered remark, or a finger pointed towards my seat. But 
as long as I confined myself to my own business, and re 
mained unmolested, I did not deem it proper to seem to take 
any notice of what might be accidental, or grow out of my 
being a stranger. I may here remark, that I expected to 
meet some old friends in the convention ; college-mates, the 
name of one of whom was on the roll of the convention ; but 
he was not present. Nor did I see but one person, a class 
mate, whom I knew ; but I had no chance to speak to him. 
And before I left Annapolis, I learned that the whole excite 
ment against me grew out of letters from Washington city. 
Even remarks made at the table, in my boarding-house, 
were sent there, to create a fever of wrath. There was no 
marked exhibition of feeling, save a few 7 curses, not designed 
for my ear, until Thursday evening. The president of the 
convention, in a feeble tone which I did not distinctly hear, 
requested all who were not members to retire to the lobbies, 
when most of the spectators did so. The reporters and mem 
bers of the legislature, however, did not. While I was hesi 
tating whether to retire or not, J. M. S. Causin, who was af 
terwards employed against me, moved that no person be ad 
mitted to the floor of the house, as reporter, unless he was 
vouched for by some member of the convention. While this 
was under consideration, the door-keeper was sent to me to 
ask if I was a delegate, and request me to retire to the lob 
bies, which I did. I stood there till the resolve passed and 
several reporters, known to the members, had been voted a 
place on the floor. As the rule adopted was just like the 
rule in the House of Representatives here, and precluded no 
one from taking notes in the gallery, I concluded to go there 
and wait until after the adjournment, and then introduce my- 


self to some member, and get a seat on the floor, at the next 
session. I did so. But a spy had been set to watch me in 
the gallery, and the moment he saw me taking notes of the 
report of the committee, he made signs to those below, and 
the door-keeper was sent up, as he said, to order me to leave 
the house. (Causin says he sent him merely to request me 
not to take notes.) When I went down with him, he seized 
me by the collar, and ordered me to come into the committee- 
room, to await the disposal of the convention. I denied his 
and their authority to detain me, and when he found it would 
be no easy matter to force me in, he urged me to go in on the 
ground that the convention would probably admit me to the 
floor. I therefore yielded, and went in. He spoke to Cau 
sin, who brought the subject before the body. A Babel-like 
confusion of opinions was uttered, as to what should be done. 
The debate was loud and long, lasting until after I was thrust 
into prison. Some of the gentlemen of the convention were 
for admitting me at once to the floor. But the mobocratic 
part soon filled the committee-room, and began to question 
and revile me. A few of the citizens of Annapolis, friends 
of good order, who feared violence, urged me to leave the 
committee-room and the town at once ; and almost compelled 
me to leave, by their friendly urgency. I consented, very re 
luctantly ; and went quietly to the tavern, where I stopped 
and took some books I had borrowed, to return them to their 
owner, Mr. Hughes, the editor of the Annapolis paper, a 
worthy man, a friend. But before I had gone ten rods in the 
street, the mob was bawling after me, and I was seized forci 
bly by the arm, and forced back to the tavern, and compelled 
to pay my tavern-bill. They went with me to my bed-room, 
where they took my private papers from me and read them. 
I had nothing save my notes, and copies in a manifold letter- 
writer, of a few old letters and newspaper articles, some on 
the subject of slavery, some on private business, and family 
affairs. These were looked over, and seemingly commented 


upon. They were now at a loss what to do. Some urged 
to take me five miles out of the town and let me go. Others 
were for hanging, tar and feathering, etc. ; but too many re 
spectable Annapolis people had now gathered around to al 
low this ; and I believe the perfect composure I was able to 
maintain, calmed them. But a large and noisy crowd as 
sembled below and outside of the house, full of violence. At 
this crisis, a warrant was made out by a kind and worthy 
but timid magistrate, Mr. Huster, of Annapolis, to commit me 
to jail ; and to that felon s prison I was carried, a crowd of 
two or three hundred men and boys preceding and following 
me with screams, and yells, and curses, that gave one a lively 
idea of Pandemonium broke loose. The jail is old and ruin 
ous. A jack-knife would free any prisoner in two hours. 
My cell was cold, and for two days very damp. The windows 
were too crazy to exclude the wind ; and for two nights and 
one day, I was very uncomfortable. The mild weather, at 
other times, made it less so. 

" The State of Maryland, in its chivalrous humanity, 
provides neither bed nor bedding, nor even straw for a priso 
ner, whether condemned or awaiting trial, or arrested on sus 
picion, as I was. But by paying for it, and by the kindness 
of the jailor, I procured a good bed and good food. The al 
lowance of the State is a fire, and money enough to furnish 
hot cakes and hominy. There was one person in prison 
charged with crime, and thirteen of God s children, detained 
under these circumstances : they consisted of two men, their 
wives and children (including two infants), manumitted by 
their owner, J. D. Hutton, in his lifetime. After his death, 
b eing insolvent, his creditors seized them as a part of the 
estate. On proof he was not insolvent when he freed them, 
they twice gained their suit, and received free papers, first in 
the County Court and next in the Court of Appeals. But the 
Chancellor reversed the decree, and adjudged them to be 
slaves. Efforts are still in progress to obtain a new trial for 


them. It is thought that it will terminate in their sale to the 
traders. They appear to be a very inoffensive family. Their 
aged mother, who had bought her own freedom, manifested 
deep feeling as she spoke of their unjust doom. I feel with 
more force than ever, the injunction to remember them that 
are in bonds as bound with them ; and after listening to the 
history of their career, I sat down and wrote, and signed, and 
prayed over a solemn re-consecration of myself to the work of 
freeing the slaves, until no slaves shall be found in our land. 
May God help me to be faithful to that pledge made in An 
napolis jail. In that cell, God helping me, if it stands, I 
will celebrate the emancipation of the slaves of Maryland, 
before ten years more roll away. 

" Monday morning, at 11 o clock, I was called before Judge 
Brewer, for examination. Thomas S. Alexander, of An 
napolis, the first lawyer of the State, and Jos. M. Palmer, of 
Frederick, an excellent counsellor, a northern man by birth, 
became my counsel ; and their kindness, zeal, and gratuitous 
services (for they declined all compensation), I am happy to 
acknowledge in this public manner. I shall ever remember 
them with gratitude. As my best wish to them in this life, I 
express my ardent hope that they will soon cease to sustain 
the unholy character of slaveholders a character, I believe, 
as onerous to their consciences, as it is unworthy of men 
whose natures are so truly noble and generous. The prose 
cution was commenced by Causin, before spoken of, and the 
Thomas F. Bowie, whose brief speech is given above. The 
former entered on the work with all his heart. Bowie had 
evidently little zeal, after he saw how the matter stood, and 
did not appear after the first day. He is a kind-hearted 
young man, of a generous temper, though, of course, sharing 
in the prejudices of his slaveholding friends on the subject of 
abolition. Causin showed himself an acute casuist. Several 
witnesses were examined, but no definite charge could be 
made out of their testimony. It was not questioned that I 


was an abolitionist, and had been an agent to such societies. 
It was not denied that I came there to report the doings of 
the body for abolition, as well as other papers. It was shown 
that I had made notes of remarks made by several persons, 
which I put in my pocket ; and which, as they were made 
public there, I feel no hesitation in quoting. 

" A delegate said to a friend, that it was * now or never 
with them. If they could not put down the colored freemen 
and those who sympathized with them, they would be put 
down themselves. In fact, we are down now, was the re 
ply. The latter then began to talk of an abolitionist from 
Baltimore, who was in town, and to curse Mr. Alexander 
(Wilson, 1 understood them at the time), of Annapolis, for an 
abolitionist, because he humanely defended free colored peo 
ple, when unjustly assailed. It was his curses that led me 
to send for Mr. Alexander to defend me. If such an one ac 
cused him for such deeds, it was natural to infer that he was 
a good and upright man. I noticed also a remark of Mr. 
Hughes, that the mass of the people would not acquiesce in 
violent measures for the removal of free colored people. And 
that if the slaveholders resorted to them, it would serve to 
identify the mass of the people who opposed such measures 
(in the eyes of the slaveholders) with the Northern aboli 
tionists, however they might differ from the latter in their 
views and measures. He thought, too, that Colonization had 
not been sufficiently tried ; and he was in favor of depriving 
the people of color of the right to hold real estate, though he 
was averse to Judge Chambers idea of compelling them to 
become agricultural laborers. When Mr. Hughes questioned 
me, as I thought rather impertinently, as to my residence, etc., 
I evaded his questions, designedly, and he inferred, though 
with little justice, that I meant to give him the impression 
that I was a delegate from Washington. Another person tes 
tified, that I told him of a remark made me by a colored man 
in Baltimore, to the effect that free colored men preferred 


death to removal from the State (to Africa, I said). Here 
was all the proof of my crime, if any crime there was, in hear 
ing and making notes of remarks, such as were made publicly 
in the convention, and such as expressed the feelings of the 
colored people everywhere, as every man well knows. But 
Causin practised every artifice to create excitement, read ex 
tracts from abolition papers, perverted my brief penciled notes, 
which I understood, but which no one else could, and ap 
pealed to the crowd around, as well as to the Judge, against 
me, as one guilty of writing, if not circulating, l incendiary 
matter. The crowd was dense, the members of the Legisla 
ture and of the convention coming in, so as to leave no quo 
rum in either body, and the rabble following them and shout 
ing applause at the demagogue appeals to the passions. My 
counsel replied briefly, and I did likewise, to the statements 
and arguments of the prosecution ; and the Judge promptly 
decided that there was nothing, so far, to warrant my deten 
tion. He chose, however, to remand me till Monday, to give 
time to inquire into the occasion of the remark I heard from 
the negro at Baltimore. The Judge now made out a new 
commitment, in legal form. 

" Sabbath evening, David A. Simmons, of Boston, came 
from Washington, at the request of some of our Massachu 
setts delegation in Congress, among whom I would gratefully 
mention Mr. Borden ; and by his promptness, address, and 
the representations he was authorized to make concerning me, 
manifestly changed the current of feeling among the men of 
influence, in regard to me. I have great reason to be grate 
ful for his kindness, as also for the sympathy of Rev. Mr. 
Winslow (formerly of Medford, Mass.), now the episcopal 
clergyman of Annapolis, and others, here and there. I 
passed a quiet Sabbath in the prison, finding communion 
with God unusually sweet. 

"Monday afternoon the case was argued at length, by my 
counsel, in the most able and satisfactory manner, and by 


Causin with great ability. The next morning, an old lady, 
who had warned off some men last summer, who had preached 
to her negroes, and another person, were sent for, but testi 
fied they had never seen me. The dispersion of the conven 
tion, the efforts of Mr. Simmons, and the arguments of my 
counsel, had allayed the excitement, and some of the more 
reflecting slaveholders began to believe they had made a 
great blunder, in allowing such an invasion of my rights as a 
citizen of the United States. Indeed a leading man declared 
that it would destroy all the effect of the convention ; not 
more by the use I might make of it, than by the fact that 
it opened every body s mouth to speak of their doings, and of 
the slavery they were endeavoring to protect. The strangely 
expressed opinions of leading men against their doings on 
Monday and Tuesday, tended not a little to confirm this im 
pression. I can only say, that if my imprisonment has such 
an effect, I shall devoutly thank God for it. That it has al 
ready unsealed the lips of thousands, and waked up a new 
spirit in the public press, the splendid article in the Daily 
Ledger of Philadelphia is a pregnant proof. So may all the 
devices of slaveholders be turned to their own confusion I 
The Judge took from Tuesday morning to Wednesday, 
3 P. M., to consider as plain a case as was ever decided, 
and then made a decision which I venture to say, on the au 
thority of eminent lawyers, stands without a precedent. He 
found no cause to detain me, not one of all the allegations and 
suspicions having even a plausible, or any proof whatever, to 
sustain them. He ordered me to give bail, in $500, to keep 
the peace till April ! My counsel, while they advised that 
no law justified such a decision, urged a present submission 
to it, and very nobly became my securities. I am taking ad 
vice as to the best mode of bringing the case up again, to dis 
charge the bail. For, aside from the loss to myself, about 
$75, and the false imprisonment, and the imputation upon me 
as one < bound over to keep the peace, when I have never, in 


word, deed or thought violated it, I think that the violation of 
the constitutional right of a free citizen of the United States, 
is not a matter to be passed over lightly. I returned to this 
city the same afternoon, and have resumed my usual avoca 
tion. Of one thing I am certain, God helping me, slavery 
shall be no gainer by this attempt to strike down constitu 
tional liberty, in my person. Be it, that in the estimation of 
some timid persons, I was imprudent, to exercise my un 
questionable right to attend a public meeting, open to all, and 
note its proceedings. That does not affect the merits of the 
case, nor alter one principle involved in it. The question 
whether freedom and right shall be sacrificed to maintain sla 
very, still remains to be considered and decided by all who 
love their country, or regard the purer impulses of humanity 
and religion. When Garrison was thrust into Baltimore jail, 
guiltless of crime, the death of the system was decreed. And 
now God has written upon the walls of Annapolis jail also, 
* Slavery must die/ 

Yours, with respect, 


" Annapolis (Md.) JAIL, Jan. 14, 1842. 
" My beloved wife, You will allow me, I know, to call 
you so still, though I address you from the usual abode of 
criminals, inasmuch as I am here for no offence against the 
laws of God or man. I write to relieve your anxieties, lest 
you should hear that I was in prison, and be alarmed too much, 
at an event so strange. I came down here on Wednesday 
morning, to attend the slaveholders convention ; and took my 
notes, as a reporter. Some evil minded person had spread 
the report that I was an abolition agent, and excited suspicion 
against me ; and I was arrested on suspicion by the MOB, 
and finally committed, last night, to prison for examination, 
by the justice. To-day I was examined by Judge Brewer; 
and because they could find no evil thing, definitely, against 


me, am detained till Monday, for further examination ; when, 
I trust in God, I shall be freed from this vile and cold place. 
Do not be grieved or alarmed. God is with me, and sup 
ports me. And I have the ablest counsel the land will fur 
nish. And though the excitement is very high against me, 
I have little doubt of a speedy deliverance. * Meantime, pray 
for me, that I may be strong in the Lord, and in the power 
of his might. I will write you again on Monday, and let you 
know the result. Do not write to me here, but to Washing 
ton, under cover to Mr. Giddings. 

Your affectionate husband, 


" Washington, D. C., Jan. 19, 1842. 

" My dearest wife, The date of this will assure you that 
I am again at liberty, and unscathed by these human hyenas, 
commonly called slaveholders. Thank God, that he suffered 
them to rage in vain, and finally delivered me from their 
power. I cannot, to-day, \vrite you a minute, detailed ac 
count of the matter ; that you will see in the next Evangelist. 
Suffice it to say, that after an illegal and unjust detention for 
a week, I was set free, there being found no reason for de 
taining me, even in the judgment of an unjust Judge. I was 
treated with the greatest personal kindness by the jailor, and 
by my counsel, Thomas S. Alexander, of Annapolis, the first 
lawyer in the State, and Joseph M. Palmer, of Frederick, a 
distinguished lawyer, and member of the legislature. They 
were untiring in effort, and utterly refused to receive any 
compensation for their services. The members of Congress 
from our State, took a deep interest in it, and sent down a 
first rate lawyer, Mr. Simmons of Roxbury, to aid my coun 
sel. The old Bastile of slavery was shaken more effectually 
by the arrest and its consequences, than it could have been 
in any other way, in five years. Thank God for it. The 
pecuniary loss to me, however, is great hard to be borne, in 


my present position ; but God yill provide. . I.gQt.your Jong 
and welcome letter this forenoon, and I. ^fl ^jt^^caj -ai ^ 
long letter in a day or two. I hope you have received the 
money I ordered sent you, from various sources. Write as 
soon as you get my next letter ; and believe me, as ever, 
your faithful friend and affectionate husband, 


Washington, D. C., Feb. 2, 1842. 

" My beloved Mary, Your welcome letter of Jan. 28, I 
received this morning, and I begin a reply, which I cannot 
send for a day or two. I am grieved and surprised that you 
received no more money. By the 12th, I hope you will re 
ceive something near seventy-five dollars ; perhaps not quite 
so much. But I will send every cent I can ; and as soon as 
possible I will send you more. 1 am trying to enlarge my 
income still more, and hope I may succeed. As to giving 
up our house, I am not prepared to assent to any change, till 
my future arrangements can be definitely settled. I had 
thoughts of removing to Medway, or some other abolition 
town, in the fall. I am very glad you are not encumbered 
with a house full of boarders. My conscience has troubled 
me much about imposing such a load upon my dear wife, and 
I am glad you are free from it. Now let me suggest a thing 
or two. Teach Charley and little Mary. Begin and read 
some hours, daily ; and write another book, either didactic, 
or finish the one so long ago begun, or a new one. I will try 
hard to find the bread and butter for you and the dear little 
ones, and for Phebe ; for I can t think of having you left 
entirely alone. Besides, Emmons will return in a month, as 
he writes me, and will want a home ; and I think he wi.l get 
one or two fellow-boarders, if you want them. So, if my 
beloved Mary can be happy there, and keep a little home 
ready for her wandering husband, when the weary months 
have passed away, I shall be glad to have you be where you 


are, for the present. Before we remove, if we do, in the fall, 
r.i u-l), : )] p&fKgid&tfee must take place, and many arrange 
ments, to which I cannot attend for two or three months to 
come. So be patient, my love. God will be with us and 
prosper us, if we look to him. The editors of the New York 
Evangelist very handsomely continued to pay me, while I was 
absent, for the letters T did not write, as well as for those I 
did. So I meet with generous kindness, from more than one 

"You ask how I felt, in regard to my imprisonment. I an 
swer, that while I was in the hands of the mob, raging and 
threatening around me, as you will see described in the Evan 
gelist or Emancipator, this week, I was perfectly cool, col 
lected, fearless of evil, as I ever was in my life. Not that 
there was no real danger, or that I was unconscious of it ; 
for no one could be so, with several hundreds raging and 
menacing around him, and but few of the friends of good 
order near to restrain their violence. But the Lord restrained 
them, and was with me to keep me from all essential harm. 
That I was deeply affected when I found myself so un 
righteously thrust into a felon s cell, is true. But I was ena 
bled to look up to the Lord, and trust in him ; and most of 
the time, I enjoyed great peace and composure of mind. My 
cell was a perfect abolition lecture-room ; for every one 
who came in, wished to talk about it ; and I believe what I 
said made a good impression on many minds. I know it did 
on several. I had a Bible and a few odd volumes of every 
nort, hardly one of them whole, belonging to the prison, which 
helped to pass away that part of the time 1 spent in solitude. 
I did not dare to write much, not knowing how long I might 
be detained there. I think my first letter to you must have 
been detained in the post-office at Annapolis a week, as one 
or two other letters apparently were ; though none were lost, 
that I know of. 

" Since I returned here, I have been treated with unusual 


respect and kindness. A few slaveholders swear about me a 
little, to exercise their venomous tongues ; but that does no harm 
to anything but their own souls. They are civil to me, per 
sonally, though some of them look rather hard at me. Cost 
Johnson, of Maryland, scowls at me, every time he passes me. 
On the whole, it will give me character and influence wherev 
er our language goes ; so that I shall have no great reason to 
regret it, on my own account ; and I will try to have my 
dear Mary love me as well, and my little ones too, as if I had 
not been in jail ! 

Your affectionate husband, 


"Washington, D. C., Feb. 26, 1842. 

" My beloved Mary, Your letter, so welcome and so sad 
too, came to-night ; and I was lover enough to kiss it a few 
times ! though my heart ached at the description of your 
trials, both personal and pecuniary. My letter of last night 
will inform you of my having sent orders which will relieve 
you on the latter score, as I hope, in all next week. I, too, 
have had some trials of that sort. My income, at present, is 
adequate to our wants, and to pay our bills, IF it was punc 
tually paid, according to promise. I hope it will all come 
next week, and enable me to set all straight with our credi 
tors. For the last month I have been paying seven dollars 
a week ; but to-day I have cut it down to five, by dispensing 
with a fire, though I expect some cold days and nights to 
write in, yet. But it will be the more saved for my 
dear little family. With all your trials from illness, I 
need not tell you how deeply I sympathize with you. May 
God our Father bless you and our dear little ones with health 
and strength. May you be enabled to go on, and sustain the 
trial laid on you. I shall not feel easy till I hear again how 
you and the dear children, and Phebe are getting on. You 
don t know how I long to be with you and help you in your 


troubles. I am well pleased with the arrangement in regard 
to Mr. Osgood ; I hope he will continue to be a pleasant 
boarder. But do not overtask your strength. Emmons, I sup 
pose, will be back in about a fortnight, and will be able to aid 
you much. As to pens, go to Light s, or to King s, and get 
some, and pay when the money comes. If there is no fail 
ure, you will soon receive enough to pay the rest of the rent, 
and for the coal and wood, and any little matters, with about 
half each of Bond s and Reed s bills. Your position is 
dark, indeed, and it wounds me to the heart. But look up 
ward, and in the words of a colored minister I heard preach 
some time ago, don t think it strange that the Lord fulfils 
his glorious promise. My dear wife, there are many ques 
tions, in ray various letters about home affairs, that I have 
waited to hear about, in just such letters as your last, full of 
all manner of little details, that would show me the every 
day life in my dear family circle. But let it pass. Write me 
soon, and believe me, as ever, your most affectionate hus 




In the autumn of 1842, Mr. Torrey went to Albany, and 
became the editor of the Tocsin of Liberty, afterward changed 
to the Albany Patriot. He was engaged at first on a salary, 
but afterwards became the proprietor of the paper, which in 
volved him in great perplexity and embarrassment. Night 
and day, he labored to fill up the increasing hiatus between 
his expenses and his income. In about one year, his mat- 


ters were so involved that he found it necessary to abandon 
the enterprise, and seek a living in some other mode. Mr. 
Torrey s family were at Albany, most of this time, and a 
part of the year were in want of many things deemed the 
ordinary necessaries of life. When he closed his labors in 
Albany, he must have felt well nigh discouraged. 

His family returned to the house of her father, at Medvvay. 
Mr. Torrey has been blamed for not making proper provi 
sion for his family while at Albany. But if those who cen 
sure him, had watched his hours of unremitting labor, and 
his prolonged fasts, that they might be fed even with scanty 
fare, they would abate somewhat of their censure. 

Meanwhile, a slave, who had escaped to Canada, came to 
Albany, and entreated Mr. Torrey to go to Virginia, and 
bring out from the house of bondage, his wife and his little 
ones. To this urgent call he could not turn a deaf ear. In. 
company with the husband and father, he started. When 
on the borders of Pennsylvania, they procured a span 
of horses and a carr age, and drove near to the residence 
of the family of the slave. The carriage was left under the 
shed of a colored man in the Distr ct of Columbia. The 
family were to meet Mr. Torrey and the father at this point. 
They came and took their seats in the carriage. Mr. T. and 
the slave with him were absent a short distance. Before 
they reached the place of meeting, they learned that the 
family, and horses and carriage, had all been seized by the 
police. Mr. Torrey and his associate escaped, but poor 
Bush, under whose roof the horses were found, was arrest 
ed, and is now in prison.* Mr. T. was obliged to send to his 
friends and get money to pay for the horses and carriage. 

He went to Delaware and labored a short time for the 
slave. On his return through Philadelphia, he met with 
Emily Webb, whose story will best be told in her own 

Recently acquitted by the Court- 


words. Her deposition, and that of her husband, were taken 
at the request of Mr. Torrey, to be used on his trial in Vir 
ginia, at the suit of Bushrod Taylor. 


" I now reside in the town of Hamilton, in the Province 
of Upper Canada, with my husband and five youngest chil 
dren. I was born in Berkley county, in the State of Vir 
ginia, at a place called the Falling- Waters, seven miles, or 
thereabout, from Martinsburgh. I have no record in my pos 
session fro" m which to determine certainly my age, but I be 
lieve I am about forty-five or forty-six years old. I was born 
a slave, and was the daughter of my master, Edward Clare, 
a white man ; and after his death, I was owned by his son 
and my half-brother, James Clare, late of Frederick County, 
Virginia, also a white man, who died about twenty years ago. 
After my birth, my mother married an Irishman named John 
Carr, and they gave me his name and called me Emily Carr. 
About the year 1815 or 1816, I was married to John Webb, 
a slave owned by Beverly Whiting, Bullskin, Jefferson Co., 
Virginia. He is my present husband, and I never had any 
other. We were read together, as it is called, by a colored 
parson whose name was Josiah Lovett. I lived at the time 
of my marriage on my master s plantation on Longmarsh, in 
what is now Clark county, Virginia, about seven miles from 
where my husband was owned. My father died when I was 
an infant. Josiah Lovett, who married me, is dead, and I do 
not recollect the name of any one living that was present at 
my marriage. There was no white man present. My chil 
dren were all born in Virginia. I have been the mother of 
thirteen children, and all by my present husband. The first 
six of my children were born on Longmarsh, where I lived 
at the time I was married. My next five were born at Ber- 


ryville, Clark county ; and ray two youngest were born in 
Winchester since I purchased my freedom. The following 
are the names and ages of my children : William, my old 
est child, died in his fifth year, and would now, had he lived, 
been twenty-eight years old. Samuel, my second child, is 
now in his twenty-seventh year, and lives in Hamilton, Upper 
Canada. Philip, my third child, is now in his twenty-fifth 
year ; he lives at Drummondsville, and is now employed as 
cook on board the steamer Emerald, plying between Buffalo 
and Chippewa. Clarissa, my fourth child, died in the third 
year of her age. James, my fifth child, died when eleven 
days old. John, my sixth child, is about twenty-two years 
old, and was sold about five years ago as a slave into Georgia. 
In 1842, I received a letter from him. He was then owned 
by a Railroad Company in that State. I have not heard 
from him since. William, my seventh child, is now about 
nineteen years old. He was sold as a slave at the same 
time with his brother John, and sent to N. Orleans, where he is 
owned by a Mrs. Jane Bennett. I heard from him about two 
months ago. John and William were purchased and sent 

south by Newbern Bowly and Crow, slave-traders. 

George, my eighth child, is in his sixteenth year, and lives 
with me at Hamilton. Martha, my ninth child, is now in her 
fourteenth year, and is also living with me. Sarah, my tenth 
child, died when nine months old. Mary, my eleventh child, 
is in her eleventh year, and is also living with me. Charles, 
my twelfth child, is now in his eighth year, also living with 
me. Emily, my thirteenth child, is now in the fifth year of 
her age, and is also living with me, at Hamilton. 

" My mother had straight hair, and was the mother of sever 
al children besides me. When my son Philip was six months 
old, my mother was sold and sent to the south, and I have 
heard nothing from her since. Till I was seven years old 
I lived with a Mrs. Brady, a white woman, a paternal aunt of 
James Clare, my half-brother and master, and my aunt also. 


When I was Mrs. with Brady I was sent to school to a 
Mr. Crewson, a white teacher. In my eleventh year I was 
sent to school three months to a Mr. Pilcher, by my master 
Clare. I have never attended school since. All the instruc 
tion that I obtained afterwards, was given me by master 
Clare, who taught me himself. I can read well, and write 
a little. 

" I lived with my master, James Clare, from the time I was 
seven years old. At the time of his death I lived with him 
on his plantation on Longmarsh. He was about fifty years 
old when he died. He married Kitty Svvanggym, a sister of 
Eli and Jack Svvanggym. He had no children by his wife. 
She died a few months before he did. He had no brother, 
and but one white half-sister living at the time of his death, 
Eliza, who married Dr. Alexander Fitz Hugh, Falmouth, 
Stafford county, Va. Having no children, he adopted a 
niece of his wife, Susan Svvanggym, daughter of Jack. 
Susan s mother died when she, Susan, was an infant. Susan 
and I were brought up together. At the death of her aunt, 
Mrs. Clare, Susan, in her sixteenth year, went to Hagers- 
tovvn, in Maryland, to live with her father, who had removed 
thither some years before, where she married Dr. Samuel 
Rench, and now resides there. 

" James Clare always treated me as his sister. He was 
much attached to my children. He treated them as his own, 
and made a great deal of them. When disposing of some of 
his property after his wife s death, he reserved a horse and 
gig for my son Philip s use, on Philip requesting him to do 
so. Bushrod Taylor knows the manner in which I and my 
family were treated by Mr. Clare and wife. James Clare 
repeatedly said that he intended to free me and my children. 
He often spoke upon the subject, during the many years I 
was with him, and he uniformly said that it was his intention 
to make us all free at his death. He owned a plantation of 
four or five hundred acres which he inherited from his father, 


and about ten slaves besides me and my family. His habit? 
were very bad. From his wife s death to his own, a space 
of some eight or nine months, he was almost constantly in 
toxicated. About two months before he died, Eli and Jack 
Swanggym, his late wife s brother, got him to go to Eli Swang- 
gym s house, seven miles from his own, where, in a state of 
intoxication, it was said he was induced to make his will. Jack 
Swanggym prevailed on him to will me and my children to 
his, Jack s daughter Susan, now Mrs. Rench, instead of mak 
ing us free as he had always promised and I had always ex 
pected. He also gave her the furniture in the house. The 
rest of his property he gave to the children of Mrs. Fitz 
Hugh. He disliked Mrs. Fitz Hugh and her husband, and 
often declared they should never have a dollar of his. The 
last two months of his life I was constantly with him and 
nursed him. A few days before his death, Redmond Jack 
son came to see him. Jackson lived near Berryville, about 
twelve miles from Winchester, when I left Virginia, and is a 
white man. Jackson asked him why he had not given me and 
my children our freedom, in his will, as I was as near to him 
as Mrs. Fitz Hugh. He replied that it had always been his in 
tention and wish to do so, but that he had been told that by law 
he could not do it without compelling us to go out of the 
State, which would be unkind, and that Susan would treat us 
kindly and better than Mrs. Fitz Hugh or any body else. 
Jackson then remarked to him that he had been misinformed 
as to the law, and that he could legally free us without our 
leaving the State, by making us legatees and freeholders un 
der the will. My master then said the will should be altered, 
and directed me to send for Augustus Smith and William 
MacCormack. They were witnesses to the will. Smith 
came, but MacCormack did not. Smith was directed to 
make the alteration, by my master. Smith said it could be 
done only in the presence of the witnesses, and they were ab 
sent that it could not be done at that time. My master died 


shortly after and before the alteration could be made, and I 
and my children became the slaves of Susan. My mas 
ter died on Sunday, about 9 o clock in the morning. He 
was buried Sunday evening. I held the lantern at the 
grave. Dr. Fitz Hugh and his wife were present. The 
former arrived the previous Saturday, and the latter sev 
eral days before. After the arrival of Doctor Fitz Hugh, 
my master became stupid and insensible, and continued 
so till he died. His tongue turned black. Dr. Fitz Hugh 
and his wife treated his remains with levity and disrespect. 
Mrs. Fitz Hugh was angry because the furniture had been 
given to Susan. She tried to induce me to send off secretly, 
or conceal a trunk containing silver ware and bed clothing ; 
and when I refused to do so, she abused me and accused me 
of having used her brother s property as my own, and of act 
ing as though I were one of his family, and said if I had 
been left to her, she would have sent me away as far as hand 
could carry me. 

In 1835 I bought myself of Dr. Samuel Rench, Williams- 
port, Maryland, the husband of Susan. He demanded three 
hundred dollars for me and my then two youngest children. 
But his wife prevailed on him to sell me separately at one 
hundred and fifty dollars. I paid him one hundred and fifty 
dollars cash. And thus I became free. I earned the money 
by washing in Berryville. Since James Clare s death and 
up to this time, Dr. Rench had given me my time, in consid 
eration of my bearing and maintaining my children till they 
arrived at an age to be profitable to him. He or his wife 
took them away to Maryland as fast as they arrived at ten 
years of age. I fed, nursed and clothed them, and paid their 
doctor s bills till removed. The children that were taken 
away from me by Dr. Rench or his wife, were Samuel, Philip, 
John, and William. My two youngest children, having been 
born after I purchased my freedom, were born free. 

"In 1838 Samuel and Philip fled from Dr. Rench to Cana- 


da. Thereupon Dr. Rench sold the other two boys to Bow 
ly and Crow, slave-traders, Charlestown, Virginia. Dr. 
Rench had promised me that I should be allowed to furnish 
a purchaser, whenever he wished to sell my boys. I went to 
Williamsport and expostulated with him. He justified him 
self by saying the traders were sent to him by Bushrod Tay 
lor, who pretended that he was to have my two boys, for 
whom he was to give Bowly and Crow some newly bought 
slaves in exchange. Dr. Rench said he was, however, as 
good a friend to me and my children as Bushrod Taylor, who 
got his money by slave-dealing. On searching the records in 
the Clerk s office at Hagerstown, Maryland, I found that the 
names of my sons had been omitted to be registered within 
thirty days from the time they were brought into the State, 
as the laws of Maryland required. I got a certificate from 
the Clerk, of the fact In the opinion of the Clerk, Macky 
Tidball, brother of Thomas Allen Tidball, Winchester, my 
sons were free by reason of the omission. Bowly and Crow 
had taken my sons to Charlestown, Virginia, with the inten 
tion of selling them south. I hurried thither. I caused a 
suit to be brought against them for the freedom of the boys. 
My lawyers were Edward Cook and Richard Bird, since a 
member of Congress. Bowly and Crow s lawyers were Moses 
Hunter and Mr. Berry. Bowly and Crow were arrested 
sometime in October, 1838, and compelled to give bail for 
the appearance of the boys, in two thousand dollars ; for one 
night the boys were induced to conceal themselves to prevent 
their being smuggled off by Bowly and Crow before a writ 
could be served on them. Bowly came to Carter s tavern, 
where I was staying, and calling me out said, Your boys 
have run off, and you are the cause of it. If you don t tell 

me where they are, you d d infernal yellow bitch of h 1, 

I will kill you, G d d n you. Judge Douglas presided 

in the Court in which the suit was brought. A trial was had 
about the 20th of June, 1839, and the Judge decided that the 


boys were slaves. I was advised by. my attorney to appeal. 
I did so. Another trial was had at Richmond, and the deci 
sion was again against the boys. John R. Cook argued the 
case at Richmond. Dr. Rench appeared by counsel and de 
fended the suit. My counsel were quite confident of gaining 
the suit. After the trial I was advised that the only way to 
save the boys was to get them back again into Maryland, 
where it was thought that by law they were free. Fearing I 
should be waylaid by Bowly and Crow if I rode my horse, I 
sent him on, and took the cars to Winchester. I explained 
the plan to Bushrod Taylor of that place, my husband s 
master, and requested him to permit my husband to go to 
Charlestown and get the boys out of jail and run them back 
into Maryland. Taylor inquired what the penalty would be, 
if my husband were detected ? I answered, thirty-nine lashes, 
cropping, and banishment from the State. Well, said Taylor, 
your husband must take the will for the deed I will give 
him permission to try. He gave my husband a general pass. 
The same day that I arrived, having hired a horse and bug 
gy, my husband set off for Charlestown. He afterwards in 
formed me that on arriving there in the night, he entered the 
jail-yard fronting the street, and succeeded in rousing the 
boys and in getting the youngest and smallest one through 
one of the grated openings. But the opening was too small 
to permit the older and larger boy to pass through. My hus 
band then urged the youngest boy to fly with him, but he re 
fused to do so, declaiing he would go back and die, rather than 
to leave his brother to be driven away alone into the south. 
He returned into jail, and my husband returned to Winches 
ter. Taylor told my husband that he was a fool for not forc 
ing the youngest boy away, as i one was better than none. 
At my earnest entreaty and with Bushrod Taylor s permis 
sion, my husband made a second attempt to rescue the boys, 
but failed. Soon after, Bowly and Crow took the boys about 
a mile and a half from Charlestown under pretence of taking 


them to dig potatoes. They then chained them, and they 
were seen passing Snigger s Ferry, twenty or thirty miles 
from Charlestown, handcuffed, in a carryall on their way 
south. John was sold at Augusta, Georgia; William in New 
Orleans. On their return, Bowly and Crow boasted to me 
that my sons, being fine, intelligent boys, sold higher than 
any they had ever sold of their age. 

" In 1838, soon after my sons John and William were sold 
by Dr. Rerich, Bushrod Taylor purchased of Dr. Rench my 
three children, George, Martha, and Mary. Dr. Rench 
agreed to sell the two girls for $300, on condition that Tay 
lor would sell them to me for that sum, and to sell him 
George for $400. Taylor asked me to buy the two girls, 
but I had not at that time the means. Soon afterwards, 
however, I was enabled to purchase the two girls for $300 
$200 for the oldest and 100 for the youngest. To pay for 
the oldest I borrowed $200 of David Fontleroy, a colored 
hostler, and gave him a lien on the girl for security. I bor 
rowed $100 of Sally Cannon, a cousin of Taylor s, to pay 
for the youngest, and gave her a lien on the youngest for se 
curity. In January, 1841, having got together $90, a por 
tion of it by raising hogs and making and selling soap, I 
offered it to Miss Cannon towards what I owed her, but she 
refused to receive it, on the ground she would have the whole 
or none, Taylor then offered to lend me the balance that 
would be due Miss Cannon, $22, (the whole debt being with 
interest $112,) providing I would buy George at $450, and 
for security give him a lien on George, Martha, and Mary 
for both sums, being $472, he to give me five years to pay 
it in, the interest to be paid annually. I accepted the pro 
position and executed to him the trust deed or mortgage, a 
certified copy of which is attached hereto. The first year s 
interest, $28,32, I paid. I failed to pay the second year s. 
I engaged in the grocery business in a small way, in which 
I was unfortunate. In 1842, in July, for the purpose of pro- 


curing the means to pay off Taylor, from my sons, I travelled 
to Upper Canada and returned to Virginia the January fol 
lowing, without having effected my object. My sons had been 
unsuccessful in business. After my return, Taylor mani 
fested a disposition to oppress me. He came to my house 
with the sheriff, and on one occasion threatened to break my 
head with the stick in his hand. He was my husband s 

" Bushrod Taylor was a dealer in slaves. He often bought 
and sold them. He was connected, in the business, with Ben 
Lewis. He speculated in slaves. He sold slaves to be sent 
south, and sent others to the south to be sold there. He 
was a hard master to slave women. He kicked and cuffed 
them publicly. He was a tavern keeper. One of his female 
slaves ate some of the remnants of the breakfast table, which 
she had been forbidden to do. Taylor knocked her down. 
She fled to the room of a lady boarder for protection. He 
pursued her there and cowhided her ; and, on her refusing to 
work for him, after such treatment, he sold her to one Offert, 
who carried her south, and forced her to become his mistress. 
Sam Bayler, James Whiton, John Brooks, and Lucy, with 
her four or five children, were amongst the slaves that Bush- 
rod Taylor sold. 

" The following white gentlemen and ladies knew me while 
I lived in Virginia, and can certify as to my character. Col. 
Treadwell Smith, Miss Mary Noble, and Jacob Iseler, all of 
Berry ville, Clark county, Virginia. John M. Blackamore, of 
Frontroy, Virginia, Samuel Brown and Aaron H. Griffith, of 
Winchester, Virginia. EMILY WEBB. 

" State of New York, County of Erie, ss. 

" Be it remembered, that on this twenty-fourth day of Au- 
ust, A. D. 1844, Emily Webb, above named, came before the 
subscriber, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, of said 
county of Erie, and made solemn oath, in due form of law, 


that the facts and circumstances in the foregoing statement 
contained, and by her signed, covering nine folio pages, are 
true, to her best knowledge, information, and belief. 

Judge of Erie County Com. Pleas" 

" State of New York, Erie County, ss. 

" George W. Jonson, of the city of Buffalo, in said county, 
attorney and counsellor at law, being duly affirmed accord 
ing to law, deposes and says, that at the instance of Emily 
Webb, he wrote down the foregoing statement, and the facts 
and circumstances therein contained ; and that, after the 
same were so written, he carefully and truly read the same 
and every part thereof to her, the said Emily, and that she 
signed the same in his presence, and in his presence swore to 
the same before the Hon. Frederick P. Stevens, one of the 
judges of the Court of Common Pleas, in and for said county, 
of the degree of counsellor, and that the above jurat was writ 
ten and signed by said Stevens, in the presence of this affirm- 
ant ; and further, he says not. GEORGE W. JONSON. 

Affirmed before me, this 31st day of August,1844. 

Judge of Erie County Court" 

" THIS INDENTURE, made the 1st day of January, 1841, 
between Emily Webb, a free woman of color, of Frederick 
county, Virginia, of the first part ; Alexander S. Tidball, 
trustee, of the second part, and Bushrod Taylor, of the third 
part witnesseth, That whereas, the said Emily Webb is 
indebted to the said Bushrod Taylor in the sum of four hun 
dred and seventy-two dollars, as appears by her note, bearing 
equal date herewith, and payable in five years, with interest 
from the date, the interest to be paid annually, and the said 
Emily Webb being desirous of making the said debt safe, 


and securing the punctual payment of the interest annually : 
Now, This Indenture witnesseth, that for and in considera 
tion of the premises aforesaid, and of the sum of one dollar 
to the said Emily Webb in hand paid by the said Alexander 
S. Tidball at or before the sealing and delivery hereof, she, 
the said Emily Webb has granted, bargained and sold unto 
the said Alexander S. Tidball, the following slaves, to wit: 
George, a mulatto boy, about twelve years of age ; Martha, 
a mulatto girl, about ten years of age ; and Mary, a mulatto 
girl, aged about seven years to have and to hold the said 
male and female slaves to the said Alexander S. Tidball, on 
the following trusts and conditions, that if the said Emily 
Webb shall fail to pay off the said note when the same be 
comes due, or shall fail to pay the interest thereon punctual 
ly on the first day of January in each and every year, until 
the principal becomes due, it shall be the duty of the said 
Alexander S. Tidball to proceed to sell the said slaves, or so 
many of them as may be necessary, at public auction, for 
each, having given two weeks previous notice of the time 
and place of sale, in some public newspaper printed in Win 
chester, and from the proceeds of sale, after deducting a com 
mission of five per cent, and all other costs attending the exe 
cution of the trust, the said Alexander S. Tidball shall pay to 
the said Bushrod Taylor, whatever may be due on said note, 
of principal and interest at the time of such sale, and the fees 
of writing and recording this trust, and the balance, if any, 
pay over to the said Emily Webb, her heirs and assigns. 
It is agreed between the parties, that the said Emily Webb 
may remain in possession of said slaves until a sale becomes 
necessary under this trust ; but she is not to be at liberty to 
remove them out of the limits of Frederick county ; and 
she, said Emily Webb covenants, that she will give peaceable 
and quiet possession of said slaves to the said Alexander S. 
Tidball, whenever demanded for the purpose of executing 


this trust. In testimony whereof, the parties have affixed 
their hands and seals the day and year aforesaid. 




" Frederick County, ss. 

" On the llth day of January, 1841, This Indenture was 
acknowledged before me, Clerk of the Court of the County 
aforesaid, by Emily Webb, party thereto, and admitted to 
record. T. A. TIDBALL. 

A copy, Attesf, T. A. TIDBALL, ClerL" 


" I was born in Berry ville, Clarke county, Virginia. lam 
about fifty years old. I am now residing with my wife, Emi 
ly Webb, and my five youngest children, in Hamilton, in the 
province of Upper Canada. I have been the father of thir 
teen children by my present wife, whom I married about the 
year 1815. I have never been married but once. My wife 
was the daughter of Edward Clare, a white man, and has 
straight hair. My children were called William, Samuel, Phil 
ip, Clarissa, James, John, William, George, Martha, Sarah, 
Mary, Charles, and Emily. George, Martha, Mary, Charles, 
and Emily, are now with me and my wife in Hamilton. 
Samuel lives in Hamilton, and has a family. Philip lives in 
Drummondsville, Upper Canada, and has a family, John 
and William were sold into the South, and are now living in 
slavery there ; William, my eldest son, Clarissa, James, and 
Sarah, are dead. I am a son of Tarleton Webb, of Berry- 
ville, a white man, who has been dead about twenty years. 
My father was a merchant. He kept a dry goods store, and 
owned a house and lot in Berryville. He had no wife, and 
never had. He died very poor. My mother s name was 
Patty Peterson. She was the slave of Beverly Whiting, a 
white man, Bullskin, Jefferson county, Virginia. In the di 
vision of his property, at his death, she fell to his daughter, 


Elizabeth Whiting, of the same place, who has never been 
married, and is now living at the age of between eighty and 
ninety, at Bullskin, unless she has died within a year. My 
mother had no white blood. Her mother came from Africa, 
and her father also, and they spoke but broken English. My 
mother was never married. She hired her time of Elizabeth 
Whiting, and went to live at Berryville, where she was em 
ployed by my father as a servant, about his house and store, 
on wages. She lived with my father about fifteen years, 
and had by him five children besides myself. For the use of 
her time, my mother supported, at her own charges, her chil 
dren during their childhood, and paid Elizabeth Whiting fif 
teen dollars a year, which was always paid. I was my moth 
er s second child, and lived with her at Berryville, till I was 
six years old ; when a brother, older than myself, and I were 
taken by Elizabeth Whiting to Bullskin, to live with her, in 
order to relieve my mother from a part of the burden of sup 
porting her family. The estate of Beverly Whiting proved 
inadequate to pay his debts, without selling his slaves, some 
fifty in number. My mother and her five children, all except 
me, were sold for that purpose, and sent to Louisville, Ken 
tucky, where they were owned by Smally Bates of that city. 
My brother William and sister Sally are yet living in Louis 
ville, the slaves of the widow of Smally Bates. My mother 
and the rest of the children are dead. I heard from the sur 
vivors last Christmas. When my mother and her children 
were sold, she had lived with my father about fifteen years. 
I lived with Elizabeth Whiting three years, at Bullskin, 
when she hired me out to Frederick Clapper, Shannondale 
farm, Jefferson county, Virginia. He afterwards removed to 
Martinsburgh, Berkley county, Virginia, and carried me with 
him. I lived at the last two mentioned places two years each, 
when I was returned to Elizabeth Whiting. Soon after, she 
placed me with a neighbor of hers, named Dolphin Drew, a 
tanner, Snigger s Ferry, Clark county, Virginia, to learn the 


tanner s trade. I remained with him, an apprentice of the 
business, four years. It was here I first knew Bushrod Tay 
lor. He was a fellow-apprentice in the tannery. We worked 
together two years, the last two years I was with Drew. Af 
ter I had been with Drew four years, I was taken home by 
Elizabeth Whiting and made the body servant of herself and 
her brother Beverly. I lived with her, in that capacity, eight 
years. Bushrod Taylor continued an apprentice to Drew, at 
the tanning business, about two years after I left. He then 
quit him and rode sheriff, under his brother William. About 
five years afterwards, he bought Drew s tannery, at Snigger s 
Ferry, and carried on the business of a tanner. Dolphin Drew 
removed to Bullskin, and Beverly Whiting being dead, Eliza 
beth Whiting made Drew her manager. At this time, I had 
been married about four years, and was twenty-five years old. 
Drew and I fell out, in consequence of which my mistress 
proposed to Bushrod Taylor to buy me. Taylor refused to 
buy me without my consent, but desired me to come and see 
him, to settle on the terms, etc. I went to Snigger s Ferry, 
and Taylor and I agreed on the following terms : He was 
never to strike me ; he was to allow me to choose my mas 
ter, if he should ever sell me ; and permit me to buy for my 
own account, and tan in the yard, without charge to me, all 
the sheep, dog, and hog skins I had the means to buy ; and 
he was to loan me money for that purpose, if I requested it. 
I shared this privilege in common with the other hands in the 
yard, white and colored. He paid Elizabeth Whiting six 
hundred dollars for me. After I had worked in the tannery 
about four years, Taylor hired me out to Thomas Whiting, a 
colored shoemaker, in Berryville, to work at shoemaking, at 
one hundred and twenty dollars a year, Taylor reserving to 
himself one month of my time, and clothing me. I was to 
have no part of my time nor earnings. Soon after, Taylor 
sold his tannery at Snigger s Ferry ; and after having lived a 
farmer at Berry ville about four years, he went to Winchester, 


Frederick county, Virginia, and commenced tavern-keeping 
and slave-trading, where he now resides. I was hired out to 
Thomas Whiting about ten years, by Taylor. I then hired 
myself of Taylor, at the rate of one hundred and twenty dol 
lars a year, I to clothe myself. This was a better bargain 
for Taylor by twenty dollars, the expense of my clothes, than 
that with Thomas Whiting. At this time I had a wife and six 
children to support, and my wife was struggling to raise the 
means to buy her freedom. I was induced to hire my time 
of Taylor, as above mentioned, in order that, by extra labor, 
I might acquire the means to aid her. I paid Taylor, promptly, 
the price agreed on for my time, during three years ; the first 
two years monthly, and the last quarterly, in cash. I worked 
for Thomas Whiting. The first year I earned, over and above 
the one hundred and twenty dollars going to Taylor, about 
sixty-eight dollars ; out of which I had to board and clothe my 
self ; the residue I gave to my wife, towards making up the 
sum necessary to purchase her freedom. The next two years 
I did a little better. I had to work early and late. My ac 
count books are now in the hands of Marshal Nickling, Ber 
ry ville, and they will show the amount of my earnings. Thom 
as Whiting was slow pay, and Taylor had to sue him for my 
wages ; and it was this that induced Taylor to sell me my 
time. Whiting died sixty dollars in my debt, which I lost. 
At the end of three years from the time I hired myself, Bush- 
rod Taylor took me from Berryville to Winchester, where he 
was keeping tavern, and placed me in his stable as night hos 
tler. During the day I worked out of the stables, at all-work. 
I was allowed no privileges except the small gratuities that 
gentlemen were pleased to bestow on me when they left the 
tavern with their horses at night, while the other hostlers re 
ceived like gratuities through the day as well as night. Thus 
I labored for a year, during which, with the above exception, 
I got nothing above my food and clothes. During the next 
four years I was the principal hostler, and the gratuities I re- 


ceived amounted to some three or four York shillings a day, 
which went to support, in part, my family, and towards pay 
ing for my two daughters, Mary and Martha. The first year 
after I went into his stables, Taylor denied me the right to se 
lect my master, in case I was to be sold, and said he would find 
me a master, if I wanted one. He threw me into the county 
jail, and kept me there a day and night, and only let me out 
at my wife s intercession. He took this step because Sally Can 
non, his housekeeper, had informed him that she had been told 
by Mango, the house-servant, that I had favorably entertained 
a proposition made me and my wife, by a Mr. Smith, stop 
ping at his tavern, from Wheeling, Virginia, to buy me and 
take me and my wife, who was then free, with those of my 
children that were free, to Wheeling, and pay us higher wages 
than we were getting where we were, and give me the privi 
lege of buying myself, which proposition I had declined. He 
afterwards violated our compact by striking me, for which I 
was under the necessity of flogging him. After this, I have 
reason to think that Taylor feared and disliked me. After I 
had served Taylor five years as hostler, I hired my time of 
him at eighty dollars a year and found myself, which I did 
for about three years, till I left Virginia, on the 18th of De 
cember, 1843, for Canada, where I now reside. Up to the 
time I left, I paid Taylor for my time as agreed, every frac 
tion, earning the means to do so by shoemaking. I left my 
account books on my bureau, on leaving Virginia, for the 
benefit of Mr. Taylor. There was, on my books, an account 
of some thirty-five to forty dollars against Betsey Dodd, for 
whom I worked at shoemaking. For a long time before I left 
Virginia, I had lost all confidence in the honesty and human 
ity of Bushrod Taylor, and I was informed by a friend living 
in Winchester, in the fore part of December, 1843, that Tay 
lor had said to him, unless the money to pay for my children, 
which my wife had bought and mortgaged to secure a por 
tion of the purchase money, was raised in the beginning of 


January following, those children and myself would be sold 
south. I thought it doubtful whether the means could be ob 
tained seasonably to pay for the children and buy myself; 
indeed, I believed they could not be, and that my only alter 
natives were to stay and be sold, or fly from my oppressor. 
I fled. I left Winchester in the night of the 18th of December, 
1843, on foot, with my youngest child on my shoulder, and 
my four other children then with me, two girls and two boys, 
walking by my side. Except these, I was alone. I was 
accompanied by no other person. 

" Bushrod Taylor is a slave dealer. He has been con 
nected, as such, and as a gambler, with Ben Lewis, who is now 
dead ; also with one Offert, Brants Jourdan, Joseph Minch- 
goomer, Pitman, and others. He used to say he would sell 
everything he had but his wife. He whipped his slaves a 
good deal, except me, whom he feared. He was a hard mas 
ter to female slaves, and showed them no quarter. It was no 
torious at Winchester, that a Mr. Hector Bell, of Clark coun 
ty, once a man of large property, had been oppressed by Tay 
lor, who got Bell s property into his hands, and sold as slaves 
Bell s colored half-brothers, who were the property of Bell. 
Taylor had the reputation of driving hard bargains. 

" I am known to the following persons in Winchester, 
who can certify as to my character. Thomas Allen Tidball, 
Esq., Samuel Brown, and Aaron Griffith ; and to Tread- 
well Smith, Esq., Marshall Nickling, Jacob Iseler, Esq., Mary 
Noble, John Thomson, Esq., an attorney, and John M. Black- 
more, merchant, all of Berryville. 

" The statement of my wife, Emily Webb, written on nine 
folio pages, and sworn to before the Hon. Frederick P. Ste 
vens, on the 24th day of August, 1844, has been carefully 
read to me ; and the same, so far as the facts stated therein 
came within my personal knowledge, agrees with my recol 
lections, and from my own knowledge and from information, 
I believe the same to be, in every respect, true. 


" A colored man, named John Harris, was thrown into jail, 
in Winchester, on suspicion of being a runaway slave. He 
asserted his freedom, and wrote to a friend to furnish the ne 
cessary proofs. He got no answer and was sold to Bushrod 
Taylor a slave for life, to pay his civil fees, Taylor promising 
him, at the sale, that if he would serve him three years, he 
should be free. At the end of two years, he sold John into 
the south, in violation of his promise. 

" I have heard Bushrod Taylor say that the surest and 
most valuable crop a planter could raise for the market, was 
a crop of young negroes. 

" I can read tolerably well, and write a little. I never went 
to school. What education I got in my boyhood, I picked up 
from white children with whom I associated. 


" State of New York, County of Erie, ss. 

" Be it remembered, that on this thirtieth day of August, 
A. D. 1844, at Buffalo, in said county of Erie, John Webb, 
above named, came before me, the subscriber, a Judge of the 
Court of Common Pleas of said county, and made solemn oath, 
in due form of law, that the facts and circumstances in the 
foregoing statement contained and by him subscribed, cover 
ing six folio pages, are true to his best knowledge, informa 
tion and belief. FRED K P. STEVENS, 

Judge of Erie County Common Pleas" 

" State of New York, Erie County, ss. 

" George W. Jonson of the cky of Buffalo, in said county, 
attorney and counsellor at law, being duly affirmed according 
to law, deposes and says, that at the instance of John Webb 
this affirmant wrote down the foregoing statement and the 
facts and circumstances therein contained, and that after the 
same were written, he this affirmant carefully and truly read 
the same and every part thereof to the said John Webb and 


that the said John Webb signed the same in this affirmant s 
presence and in his presence swore to the same before the 
Hon. Frederick P. Stevens, one of the judges of the Court of 
Common Pleas in and for said county, of the degree of coun 
sellor, and that the above jurat was written and signed by 
said Stevens in the presence of this affirmant, and further 
says not. GEORGE W. JONSON. 

Affirmed before me, this 31st day of August, 1844. 

Judge of Erie County Common Pleas" 

" State of New York, County of Erie, ss. 

" I, Manly Colton, Clerk of the County of Erie, and of the 
Court of Common Pleas thereof, do hereby certify that Frede 
rick P. Stevens, Esq., whose name is subscribed to the annexed 
affidavit and jurat, was, at the time of subscribing the same, a 
Judge of Erie County Courts, in and for said County, duly ap 
pointed and sworn, and acting as such. Arid further, that I 
am acquainted with the hand writing of said Judge, and verily 
believe the signatures affixed thereto to be his genuine signa 

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my name 
and affixed the seal of the Court of Common Pleas of said 
county, this 31st day of August, A. D. 1844. 


" We, the undersigned, members of the Common Council 
of the City of Buffalo, certify, that we are well acquainted 
with George W. Jonson, Esq., the above affirmant, and that 
he is an Attorney and Counsellor at Law, practising in this 
city, and a gentleman of unblemished character. 


PATRICK SMITH, Alderman 1st Ward" 
Dated Buffalo, N. Y. Aug. 31, 1844. 


If Mr. Torrey met John Webb, and these five wandering 
children in the night, some miles from the house of Bushrod 
Taylor, and with rapid wheels and flying studs, drove them 
on to a land of freedom, was he therefore a thief ? 

We frankly confess he did this. The first night he met 
them, the carriage broke down ; Webb and his children re 
turned to their cabin, and Mr. Torrey procured help the next 
day to repair his carriage, and the second night was success 
ful. The Webb family are altogether, except the two sons 
sold south a happy family, and with some hundreds be 
sides, will ever bless the name of Mr. Torrey. 

It is obvious that a very particular account of the manner 
in which Mr. Torrey assisted slaves to escape, would embar 
rass future adventurers in this laudable enterprise. Whether 
any individual shall engage in this work, is a matter for him 
to determine. In itself, it is always good. Mr. Torrey had 
great confidence that it would do much for the general cause 
of emancipation. It certainly makes it quite hazardous to 
hold slaves in the border States. 







For such acts of mercy as assisting the Webb family to 
their liberty, Mr. Torrey was seized at Baltimore, tried, im 
prisoned, and finally murdered by the State of Maryland. 
He was arrested June 24, 1844. The following paragraph 
is from the Boston Morning Chronicle : 

" Mr. Torrey was first arrested on the complaint of one 
Bushrod Taylor, of Winchester, Va., who swore point blank, 
that Mr. T. had helped sundry slaves of his to escape from 
the State of Virginia. He afterwards admitted that he never 
saw Mr. Torrey, or knew any harm of him ; but he believed 
all sort of evil [good] of him. Another man swore that on 
December 9th, 1843, a man came to a hotel in Winchester, 
and entered his name as C. Turner, staid a day and a half, 
and then left. That he neither saw or knew any evil of him. 
Taylor swore that he complained to the grand jury himself; 
and that he meant to get the C. Turner indicted. 

" This is all the evidence on which Mr. T. was arrested 
and imprisoned, to await the demand of the governor of Vir 
ginia. Gov. McDonnell, without inquiry, gave the requisi 
tion, and made Taylor the bearer of it." 

As soon as Mr. Torrey was arrested on this requisition, 
Wm. Heckroth brought a suit against him for " aiding, enti 
cing, or assisting" certain slaves to escape from Maryland. 
This latter suit took the precedence of the former, and Mr. 
Torrey was kept in jail to await his trial in Maryland. Of 
his condition there, his own letters give the best account. 


Letter to Rev. Wm. Torrey, Holley, N. Y. 

" Baltimore Jail, , . 

" My Dear Uncle, Your welcome letter of the 9th ult., 
reached me yesterday. I should have answered it before, 
had not the necessary writing in relation to my defence, oc 
cupied all the time I have been able to write. * * * 
I am confined in a room with the worst class of prisoners ; 
one murderer, one counterfeiter, one receiver of stolen goods, 
and others charged with the most infamous crimes. For a 
week or two, vermin, of all sorts abounded ; lice, roaches, 
bed-bugs by thousands, fleas, weasels, red-ants, and moths. 
However, in time, by patient effort, we have got quite rid of 
them. I have now a bedstead, mattress, and a supply of 
good food. I trust I shall not hereafter suffer any thing, but 
the irreparable evils of imprisonment. I have very little de 
sire to become a martyr. How I should act in prospect of 
being called to swell that glorious host, I don t know. Did 
you ever hear of a Torrey that suffered martyrdom ? I hope 
among our good old Puritan ancestors there were some who 
had the martyr spirit. ******* L e t < the 
heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing. The 
Lord liveth / * * * * Your affectionate nephew, 


In a letter to Gerritt Smith, Esq., he says : " The prison 
rules exclude newspapers, while cards and gambling are daily 
tolerated. No Bibles are placed in, or found about the prison ; 
probably on account of the incendiary character of such books." 

Extracts from Letters to his Wife. 

"Baltimore Jail, July 9, 1844. 

" My Dear Wife, * * * * Sometimes I am very 
much depressed, and reckless of the result. At others, I feel 
more cheerful, and willing to receive from God, the punish- 


ment of ray sins, in this, or any other form that may seem 
best to him. If I am to suffer, it is a great consolation to 
know, that it will not be in vain ; that Providence will use 
even my sufferings to overthrow, more speedily, the accursed 
system that enslaves and degrades so many millions of the 
poor of our land. So in that I do, and I will rejoice. Shall 
a man be put into the Penitentiary for doing good ? for doing 
his plain duty to the poor and oppressed ? That is the real 
question at issue, and it is one which will shake down the 
whole edifice of Slavery, even if there were no other issue. 
It should have been raised in the case of Thomson, Burr, 
and Work, those three devoted Christian brethren, who are 
now in prison, in Missouri, on the same charge ; but whose 
case have attracted very little attention from the friends of 
humanity. I have often lamented it, as a great wrong to 
those excellent men, and to the cause itself." 

" Baltimore Jail, , . 

" My Dear Wife, I am still in the room with the same 
class of men I before mentioned to you. I thought it easier, 
on the whole, to forbear asking for better accommodations. 
And even while, for two or three days, my health has really 
required it, I have deemed it best to let things remain as they 

" I hope I have been of some use to my fellow-prisoners, 
most of whom suffer justly, and will yet suffer for the crimes 
they have committed. They are generally persons whose 
moral education was wholly neglected, and who are very tho 
roughly corrupted. Their habitual conversation is loathsome 
to a degree of which you have never had an opportunity to 
form an idea." 

After the arrival of Rev. Mr. Phelps, who visited Balti 
more for the purpose of doing something to ameliorate Mr. 
Torrey s condition, he writes : 


" My prison accommodations are much improved. By pa 
tient effort we have got one room entirely clean, and a selec 
tion of the better class of prisoners for room-mates. For a 
wonder, I am confined with two honest men, to one rogue 
and one doubtful. 

" Yesterday was a strange day for old Baltimore jail. No 
Christian minister has visited it since I was imprisoned. So 
yesterday morning I made a temperance address to a few of 
the prisoners. In the afternoon I preached to nearly all the 
prisoners, with the keepers and their families, who asked leave 
to come in. So I had quite a little congregation. It is prob 
ably the first time that a prisoner ever preached the gospel to 
prisoners in this jail, or perhaps in any other in our own 
country. I hope it will not be quite in vain. At any rate, 
it gave us one very quiet and pleasant Sabbath ; a day de 
voted, in part, to something better than gambling and swear 

This preaching would have been continued, had not Mr. 
Torrey been subsequently forbidden by the keeper. 

From a letter to Dr. Gregory, of Sand Lake, N. Y., we 
extract the following : 

" I shall feel more for poor prisoners, to the latest day of 
my life. A few days ago, I took up the cause of a poor col 
ored lad, fifteen years old, born free, but seized as a slave by 
a man, who has been a savage tyrant over him, till at last he 
undertook to sell the child to a trader. The boy ran off, was 
caught, and put in prison. A few days ago, he was cruelly 
beaten, knocked down, and stamped upon, by the tyrant, be 
cause he refused to be sold ! I hope to free him. Oh ! the 
colored poor man is indeed helpless in these slave countries. 
The maxim, * Kick him, Dick, he s no friends, is the em 
bodiment of all their laws, and of their practice under them." 

To Mrs. Esther Moore, of Philadelphia, he writes : 


" I have seen much, very much, of the oppression of the 
poor, both white and colored, since I have been a prisoner. 
I have seen thorough-paced knaves liberated, and innocent 
men, because poor or simple-hearted, subjected to imprison 
ment and loss of property. 

"I do not wonder that persons, who look only at such 
abuses of law and justice, learn to consider alb human gov 
ernments as valueless, or worse, The old, but now illegal 
practice of imprisoning men of color who were free, and then 
selling them for their jail fees, I think I have broken up in 
this jail, since I was imprisoned, though I have incurred not 
a little of the wrath of the lower classes of slaveholders, slave- 
traders, and their abettors, by so doing. 

" There are opportunities constantly occurring, for doing 
good in this State, in relation to the slaves. It only needs 
some one as vigilant as Elisha Tyson. As for the present 
race of Quakers here, Heaven have mercy on their coats and 
jackets ! They are afraid even to visit me in prison ; afraid 
of the least odium in the defence of principles, which they 
privately profess to glory in, as the best feature of their sect. 
In some parts of the State, I have met with individuals who 
had a better, and a bolder spirit. Nothing will stir these Ma 
ryland anti-slavery men, but some persecution ; something 
which shall drive them to the wall. Then they will fight, and 
that successfully. * * * CHARLES T. TORREY." 

The convention contemplated in the following noble letter, 
was not held ; but that does not diminish its merits, nor the 
interest with which it will be read. 


" To the President of the Liberty Convention, Salem, Mass., to meet Aug. 1 , 1 844. 

" Dear Sir, I trust it will not be deemed an intrusion, or 
an act of presumption, for a poor prisoner, the daily cornpan- 


ion of felons, to address you, and through you an assembly 
composed, 1 presume, chiefly of my personal acquaintances 
and friends, most of whom are old associates in labors mani 
fold in behalf of the slave, and other objects of benevolence, 
dear to the heart of the Christian and philanthropist. 

" You are free ; I am in the common jail of the city of Bal 
timore. Before you are gathered thronging thousands of up 
right and Christian men, lovely and pure and self-denying 
women, to know whom is honor, to be esteemed by whom is 
happiness. My companions consist of about eighty men and 
women ; a few of whom are unfortunate debtors, confined by 
laws as senseless as they are brutal ; a few more, slaves, 
confined for loving freedom too well ; a few more, free colored 
persons, shut up in prison to compel them to prove their legal 
title to be free ; but most of the whole number composed of 
thieves, murderers, pickpockets, swindlers, men who have 
brutally beaten their wives, while one or both were drunk, 
rowdies and loafers from the street-fights, harlots and bawds 
from the brothels, and a mixed multitude of other like crimi 
nals ; few of whom have much in their characters, save their 
guilt and poverty and ignorance, to excite the sympathy 
which is very scantily accorded to most of them. A few are 
found, even among such a herd, not wholly fallen from the 
nobleness of the Deity, that His hand stamped on his chil 
dren ; and a few men of education and character, one or two 
of whom are victims of others frauds, are mingled with the 
mass; just enough of light to make the blackness of such a 
place of moral darkness more visible ! 

" You are met to bless God for the boon of freedom on 
800,000 slaves in 1838, and 12,000,000 more in 1843; to 
note the progress of the great cause of universal liberty, and 
to devise and execute plans to hasten the hour of its midday 

" I am a prisoner, charged with aiding a few some half 


dozen of the poor to escape out of the house of their 

"You are planning certain acts of justice and humanity to 
many millions. 

" I am in prison, charged with similar, though not pre 
cisely the same, acts of justice and humanity to a few obscure 
men and women, whose only crime was their poverty, whose 
only fault was their helplessness under the power of the task 

" You live in a community where no human being can be 
a slave ; where i jire and water are denied, both by law 
and public opinion, to the pirate who shall attempt to seize 
any human creature no matter where they came from with 
a view to reduce him to slavery. 

" I am in the prison of a city which is the scene of a daily 
traffic in the persons of men, women and children, which is 
as much more atrocious than the African slave-trade, as the 
people are more enlightened than the savages of the dark 
coasts of that wretched continent. There, a savage, mad 
dened by liquor, sells to a white stranger, captives taken in 
war from hostile tribes. Here, native citizens sell American 
husbands, wives, sons and daughters, in cool blood, as a part 
of the regular traffic of this Christian city. The traders in 
souls ride in their carriages ; their families mingle in its so 
cial circles, and own pews in its churches,* and are very 
1 respectable men. 

" You live in glorious old Massachusetts, the fountain of the 
best literature, the choicest works of charity, the most en 
larged plans and deeds of benevolence, the source whence free 
principles and just laws emanate, the home and source, for 
our whole country, of * whatsoever is lovely and of good 

* Hope H. Salter, the largest slave-dealer in this city, recently bought 
a pew in the splendid new Methodist church in Charles street, much to 
the annoyance of many of the worshippers. 


" I am in a State where a few rich men, for many genera 
tions, have trampled down the laboring classes ; made abject 
slaves of one half (the colored), and kept the other half in a 
condition of ignorance, poverty and povverlessness, very little 
better than slavery. I never fairly comprehended what was 
meant by the peasantry of European countries, till my tours 
in the slave States called me to appreciate the condition of 
the laboring whites of the slaveholding part of our land. Sla 
very crushes down the free laborer, so that it is not strange 
that the slaveholder talks in terms of contempt of northern 
laborers. He very naturally thinks them like their class in 
the slave States. In this State, as in all other slave coun 
tries, industry is comparatively unproductive ; half the people 
being little better than paupers, with few motives to become 
otherwise. The education of multitudes must be neglected, 
because that of slaves must be prevented. Religion must fail 
to secure a pure morality, because it cannot be allowed to in 
terfere with slavery. Literature must languish between the 
ignorance of the laborer and the imbecility and indifference 
of the mass of idle masters. 

" The fields, the fences, the houses of the farmers, their 
barns, their modes of cultivation, their domestic economy, al 
most the very air you breathe, reminds you at every step, 
that thus is slaveholding, degraded Maryland ; not glorious, 

"While I ask, with respectful confidence, the sympathy 
and aid of my old friends and fellow-laborers, who are free, 
for one who is a prisoner in the cause they love, I ask them, 
as the sons and daughters of free Massachusetts, to feel still 
more deeply for the SLAVES OF MARYLAND, the daily vic 
tims of the American slave trade, the most horrible traffic that 
the sun ever blushed to look upon ; for the millions in our 
land whose fate is far worse than that of the prisoners in that 
penitentiary to which the slaveholding portion would consign 
me for pitying their victims. 


" I have an object in addressing you, at this time, higher 
than that of asking your sympathies, or calling you to contrast 
your blessed inheritance with the woes of the slave. It re 
lates to one of the means to be employed for the overthrow of 

" It is my full, deliberate conviction, that it is the Liberty 
party, or in other words, the wise employment of our politi 
cal power, that is destined to put an end to slavery. The va 
rious religious bodies composing * the church, are too much 
corrupted by slavery, to be the leading agent in its overthrow. 
But the thousand influences that link men to a political body, 
can be employed for the destruction of that which our cor 
rupt religion cannot cope with. And I have ample reason to 
know that our political organization is doing more than all 
other causes to effect the great object. Still, it has ever been 
a maxim with me that no lawful means to crush slavery 
should be left untried. We have heads, hearts, hands, and 
money enough to use them all with their greatest power. 

" The employment of judicial power for this end we have 
overlooked too much. We have too readily taken it for 
granted that our courts of law were slavish ; forgetting that 
they are more readily reached by reforming agencies, in our 
land, from the very nature of our institutions, and from the 
universal recognition of the authority of the COMMON LAW, 
than any other body of men, or any professional caste. 

" Accordingly, we have taken up only such cases as Provi 
dence has forced upon us, e. g. the Med and Amistad 
cases. In these, and in various subordinate instances, great 
good has been effected. And, without any exception worth 
naming, every case carried by the abolitionists into the State 
or federal courts, has been ultimately decided in favor of free 
dom ! 

" Providence now places before the anti-slavery body three 
cases, each involving distinct and momentous questions, each 
to come before the Supreme Court of the United States next 


winter ; each of which carries death to slavery written all 
over it; and which, if rightly used, will more than accomplish 
the work of its universal overthrow. They are as follows: 

" 1 st. The VAN ZANDT case, on appeal from the U. S. Cir 
cuit Court of Ohio. This will test three very important points : 
1. Whether Congress has power, at all, to legislate for the 
recovery of fugitives from slavery. 2. Whether the particu 
lar law of 1793 is constitutional ; and 3. Whether, in any event, 
slaves escaping from or to the new States can be recovered, 
under the constitution. That this will overthrow the law of 
1793, few lawyers can entertain a doubt. 

" 2d. The BUSH case, now before the local court in Wash 
ington city. If Bush is not acquitted, on his new trial in Oc 
tober, it will be carried to the Supreme Court, to test the con 
stitutionality of slavery in the District of Columbia. Slavery 
exists there only by an act of Congress ; an act that body had 
no more business to pass than they have to establish slavery 
in old Essex county. If Bush is acquitted, a made-up case 
will be ready at any time, to test the same great issue. No 
competent lawyer can doubt the issue. It will establish FREE 

" 3d. My OWN CASE. This presents several new, and, in 
some aspects, f \r more important issues. I am charged with 
aiding a family (a father and five little children !) out of bond 
age in Virginia. The governor, McDowell, granted a requi 
sition for my delivery for trial, in that case. On this I was 
arrested. The case goes before the Supreme Court on seve 
ral issues : 1. Is a mere requisition enough to warrant the 
surrender of a man charged with crime, without the produc 
tion of the evidence to prove its commission, and that it was 
done by the person accused ! 2. Is it a felony or other crime, 
in the meaning of the constitution, to aid a slave to escape? 
No law can make it a crime for a slave to escape ; it cannot 
be a crime to help another do what is not a crime for him. to 
do himself. The constitution, therefore, gives no warrant 


for the surrender of a man charged in one State with helping 
a slave to escape from another State. If so, Congress can 
make no laws to aid the recapture of fugitives, or making it 
an offence for citizens to aid them. States cannot make it a 
CRIME, and enforce its penalties upon citizens of other States. 

" That these points will be so decided, I have little ques 
tion. The Supreme Court has virtually decided all these 
points, in other cases ; cases gotten up by the slave States 

" In this, as well as in the other case, where I am charged 
with aiding a mother with her son and daughter to flee from 
this city, another and broader general issue will be taken, 
both before the State and United States courts. It is this : 
3. That by the laws of God and nature, by the common law, 
by the Constitutions of the United States, of Maryland, and 
of Virginia even, it is no crime for a slave to escape if he can, 
and therefore it can be no crime to help him. The local stat 
ute laws, consequently, which undertake to convert acts of hu 
manity and mercy into felonies are null and void, not less so 
in law, than in morality. 

" The State of Maryland, that voted its thanks and swords 
of honor to those who rescued a few of our countrymen from 
slavery in Tripoli, CANNOT, by any statute law, make it a 
crime to help her own native citizens out of slavery on her own 
soil. The thing is absurd. Courts of equity cannot main 
tain it. Constitutional judges must laugh such a monstrous 
folly out of court. 

" Now, these points properly decided, slavery cannot be 
maintained an hour in any of the border States; and wherever 
the border is, unless you make it a wall of fire, the result must 
be the same. It takes from the master all means of keeping 
his victims but force. Slaveholders, as a class, are too effemi 
nate and cowardly to holdori to their victims when that is the 
case, even if their numbers were not too small. 

" And the very agitation of these mighty issues, in courts 


held in the bosom of the slave States, will topple down the 
whole crazy fabric of slavery. Two, if not three years must 
elapse before the final issue. The press will be unchained. 
The editors, generally, in the central States, are anti-slavery 
men. Nearly all in this city are so. Their presses are muz 
zled by the constant dictation of the overseers. They hate 
their thraldom, and long to break it. Quietly I find them, 
not without design, in most cases, filling their columns more 
and more with foreign and domestic anti-slavery news, sta 
tistics, anecdotes and arguments. As with the press, so with 
the oppressed majority of the white people of the South. 
Just in proportion to the intelligence of the non-slaveholding 
class, is their longing desire for a day of reckoning with their 
political and social taskmasters, the slaveholding minority. 
These great legal issues, thoroughly urged, by able counsel, 
will break the ice, unlock the lips, and loose the tongues of all 
this vast multitude. They will contribute, too, to free from 
thraldom, the entire legal profession, and to bring out their 
mighty energies on the side of sound principles. 

" When I ask your aid, therefore, it is not merely as a mat 
ter of personal sympathy. Words, indeed, are not adequate 
to express how grateful I feel for the prompt liberality of my 
friends in Boston, Salem, Lynn, Newburyport, Amesbury, 
and other places in my native State. But, sir, this is only 
one of the various modes in which we have always meant to 
carry out our views. Some of you, perhaps, will remember 
that Wendell Phillips and myself devoted an entire day, in 
1838, in the court-house in Ipswich, to the discussion, chiefly, 
of the very issues now to be tried ; little dreaming, at that 
time, that they would ever be tested in a case involving my 
own liberty. 

" But God orders all things well. 

u Let Maryland, let Virginia consign me to their peniten 
tiaries, if they will, if they can, if they dare to do it, in the 
face of God and before the civilized world. To Him, to them, 


I make my appeal. And who can doubt that the voice of 
Providence, and the shout of the civilized world, will unite 
in condemning and branding with INFAMY a State, professing 
to be Christian and republican, that ranks compassion to the 
poor, and succor to the oppressed, among crimes and felonies ? 
Let them, if they will, convict and sentence me to the peni 
tentiary, as a felon. And then let their citizens show their 
faces in civilized Europe, to say nothing of our own free 
States, half redeemed from their servility to slavery. 

" To you, my old friends, neighbors and fellow-citizens, I 
can appeal with honest pride, to testify that there is nothing 
in my character to justify their deed. I appeal to all who 
have known me, from my youth up. No Judge O Neill can 
slander me, as he has poor Brown, not only in that parody on 
all piety, his judicial sentence, but in a recent letter to the 
British public, through the Glasgow Argus; and endeavor to 
lessen the infamy of making it a crime to help men out of 
slavery, by showing that the personal character of the man 
in other respects entitles him to no one s sympathy. No, 
THANK GOD, Maryland and Virginia must go to trial before 
the tribunal of mankind, on this broad issue : Will you, in 
order to maintain slavery, (which lives in your States only 
by the annual sales of the increase of its victims in the South 
ern shambles,) will you condemn a man of blameless life, and 
unspotted Christian character, to your prisons as a common 
felon T I ask you, my old friends and fellow-citizens, to help 
me to hold them to this issue. I know the consequences, to 
myself, in the first instance, may be prisons and personal suf 
fering. It is not what my heart and spirit desire, to be thus 
torn from my wife and children. 1 came to Baltimore to re 
side ; had completed my arrangements to engage in business 
and remove my family hither, when 1 was arrested. Now, I 
am made, in a manner I never dreamed of, the battle-ground 
between slavery and freedom. A battle-field is commonly 
torn up by the violence of the conflict. But let the strife go on! 


whether it be over my prison or over ray grave. There can 
be but one result, one Victor, one triumph. GOD decided that, 
when he made man in his own image. And the day that shall 
proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants 
thereof, is not, cannot be, far off. I shall live to see it, and 
shout over it, Blessed be GOD, who hath given us the vic 
tory ! 

" When the mob imprisoned me, for no crime, at Annapo 
lis, in 1842, I invited many of the prominent citizens of this 
State to meet me there, round that old jail, in January, 1852, 
to commemorate the abolition of slavery in Maryland. I now 
extend the invitation to you ; with only one correction. If 
you and all who now labor for the slave are faithful, (as I do 
not doubt you will be,) I must name an earlier day, and a 
larger place. Perhaps the area round WASHINGTON S 
MONUMENT, in the city of Baltimore, will be a better place. 
It is his monument who declared, almost with his dying 
breath, that so far as his suffrage could go to abolish sla 
very, it should never be wanting. Meet me around 
Washington s monument, on the 4th of July, 1848, to cele 
brate the peaceful triumph of liberty in Maryland! And 
may God bless and keep us all to see that happy day. 
Your friend and prisoner for the slave, 


Baltimore Jail, July 29, 1844. 

The following letter speaks for itself. If any one reads it, 
to whom it does not speak, nothing can move such an one. 
The introductory remarks are by the editor of the Emanci 
pator : 

" The following letter of Charles T. Torrey, to the people 
of Maryland, was published (as an advertisement) in the 
Baltimore Sun, of August 30 the paper having the largest 


circulation in that city. Considering the position of Mr. Tor 
rey, as a prisoner in a slaveholding State, about to be tried 
for the alleged crime (in the estimation of slaveholders the 
highest crime that can be committed) of inveigling away 
slaves, and then looking at the spirit, the comprehensive 
views, the manly and unsubduable maintenance of RIGHT, 
the preparation for all that may come, and the solemn sum 
mons by this prisoner, of two sovereign States, to trial before 
the tribunal of the world it is one of the most extraordinary 
documents of the year 1844. It will be read with the most 
intense interest in Europe ; it will be read in the year 1894, 
all over America ; it is a part of the history and prominent 
mark of the progress of the abolition cause. 

" In the beginning of the year 1842, a grand convention of 
slaveholders was held at Annapolis, for the purpose of over 
awing the legislature of Maryland, and compelling them to 
adopt extraordinary measures for the security of the slave 
interest. The presence of Torrey, as a reporter, threw the 
convention into a convulsive excitement ; Torrey was sent to 
jail and subjected to an examination, the result of which left 
the convention the object of simple contempt. In thirty 
months from that time, we find the same Torrey boldly ap 
pealing to the people of Maryland itself, to protect him from 
injustice, as the only means of saving themselves from general 

" We recollect hearing an old Virginian say, that he con 
sidered the result of the Annapolis convention as the turning 
point of the destiny of slavery. He said that it was the first 
attempt of the slaveocracy to take a stand and turn back the 
tide of abolition ; and if they had succeeded they would have 
given us much trouble. But as they failed, their failure there 
was the index of destiny, and they would continue to fail un 
til slavery itself is abolished." Morning Chronicle. 

" To THE PUBLIC. The undersigned, a prisoner in the 


city jail, in Baltimore, asks your attention to the following 
statements : If I was as widely known to the good people of 
this State as I am to the citizens of New England, New York, 
and several of the western States, it would be of very little 
importance to me that a class of persons, such as traders in 
slaves, professional fugitive hunters, and subordinate officials, 
with a few slaveholders of the violent and fanatical class, 
should employ the venom of tongues reckless of truth, to as 
sail my character, and endeavor to make Christian men deem 
me a fit associate for felons, or men of their own grade of so 
ciety. But to all, save a few college classmates, and a few 
others whose acquaintance I have, in most cases recently 
formed, I am a stranger. I am imprisoned on charges that 
render me obnoxious to the displeasure of that class of the 
people not very numerous, it is true who deem their in 
terests involved in the perpetuation of slavery and the 
slave trade. 

"Let me be distinctly understood Ida not ask for any 
man s sympathy. Did I desire it, a statement of the real facts 
respecting the charges against me, and the recklessness of 
my prosecutors, would secure it. But my demand is not for 
the sympathy due to even the most obscure and guilty of our 
race, but for JUSTICE. The verdicts of the courts of law and 
equity, some of which, in my case, will not be given, in all 
likelihood, before February, 1846, will, if they are what I 
confidently expect, render me but tardy justice. Meanwhile, 
I have an appeal to make, to the men of intelligence of all 
parties, who are for the GOOD NAME and the PROSPERITY of 
Maryland, and of our whole country. 

" First, I have to state a few facts relative to my personal 
history. I do this with reluctance, and solely because certain 
persons, to whom allusion has already been made, have em 
ployed base means to convey an impression to the religious 
public, far different from truth. 

" It is not, then, a matter of boasting, but of simple jus- 


tice for me to state, that my family, education, station, em 
ployments, and character, have ever placed me in the highest 
and purest class of society. Deprived of both parents before 
I was four years of age, I was educated by my mother s father, 
the late Hon. Charles Turner, of Scituate, Plymouth county, 
Mass., who will be remembered by the older politicians of this 
State, as one of the few republican members of Congress, in 
1812-14, who dared to hold fast their integrity, in the face of 
a frowning constituency, and vote for a declaration of war. 
From him a soldier under Washington when Boston was 
occupied by the British I learned to hate slavery in all its 
forms. To all who have known me in the thoughtless years 
of childhood, or when a student in Phillips (Exeter, N. H.) 
Academy ; a classmate in Yale College, with a Robbins, a 
Kerr, a McClellan, and others from this State ; a member of 
Andover Seminary ; a pastor of churches in Providence, R. 
I., and Salem, Mass. ; agent of benevolent societies ; a con 
tributor to, or editor of public papers ; or any walk of life, 
in public or private ; to the tens of thousands in all the States 
named, in all classes of society, and to all with whom a brief 
residence in the South has introduced me, I confidently ap 
peal. Let them say that I am chargeable with one act that is 
unbecoming the character of an educated Christian gentle 
man ; one act that shall ever cause my children to honor 
their father less than nature and affection would bid them. I 
make this appeal, with a distinct remembrance of the past, 
that during the last seven years in public life, I have often 
come in collision with the views, the prejudices, the angry 
passions of religious and political partizaus of almost every 
class ; and, at times, have been assailed, and assailed others, 
with a temper that even the excitement of partizanship poorly 

MIES, so far as they themselves belong to the reputable por 
tion of society slave traders and their abettors do not. In 
THIS State the first effort was made to stamp ignominy on an 


unsullied name. In January, 1842, by the advice and at 
the request of several gentlemen among the most prominent 
whig and democratic members of Congress, I attended a pub 
lic convention open to all the world in the city of Annapo 
lis, called to perpetuate the curse and crime of slavery in 
this State. I was an entire stranger in Maryland, having 
previously spent but eleven hours in it, seven of which were 
employed in passing through it. By the malicious acts of 
certain members of the gambling fraternity, whom I had of 
fended by exposing their characters, a lawless and drunken 
mob was excited against me, and I was thrust into jail. No 
complaint was made, no oath taken, no violation of law, actual 
or possible, was ever hinted at, to excuse such a violation of 
the laws, constitution, and hospitality of the State. In all 
the week of subsequent investigation, not a shadow of a pre 
text for my detention appeared ; yet certain underlings of the 
press, from that hour, have sought to connect my name with 
epithets belonging to the class of felons who figure in the 
loathsome police reports. The wrong done me by the citi 
zens and authorities of Maryland at that time, remains unre- 
dressed ; how much to their and her honor, the world will 

" Four months since, I came to this city, to make it my per 
manent residence. Within a week from my coming, a noted 
slave trader commenced that series of machinations that re 
sulted in my arrest. Whether that arrest, in its results, will 
bring honor or shame to the individuals and States who are 
made parties to it, of one thing I am sure ; it will never de 
stroy my good name, in the eyes of any considerable portion 
of the Christian and honorable part of mankind. This leads 
me to my second object. 

" 2. I wish, while I would carefully avoid any statement that 
can be deemed a prejudgment of the issues to be tendered to 
the courts of law and justice, to have the public understand 
the nature of these issues. 


" I am charged with aiding a man, a native of Mary 
land, sold into Virginia, to escape from slavery in the latter 
Slate. The governor of Virginia, in the common course 
of law, demands my delivery for trial there, as a * fugitive 
from justice. My open residence in Baltimore, with a rail 
road to Winchester, whence I am charged with aiding this 
man to flee, looks very much like flight ! to be sure. I am 
also charged with aiding two women and a boy to escape from 
an obscure person in this city. It is said that I have been 
humane enough to help these persons to escape to some free 
State. To do such acts of kindness to the penniless slave, I 
am told, has been by statute made a penal offence, in these 
two States. Whether the facts are truly charged or not, is 
of very little moment to any but the poor people themselves. 
If they are free, there is room for twice four more free labo 
rers, south of Mason and Dixon s line. To myself, while I 
am neither a martyr nor a stoic, to pretend to be insensible to 
the evils of a separation from my family, from society, from 
all opportunities of gaining knowledge and of benefiting so 
ciety, by an imprisonment with the felons of your penitentia 
ries, yet I say, without hesitation, I had rather be the prisoner, 
than the judge who may sentence me. 

" What are the legal issues? 1. One is not peculiar to my 
case. It is, whether a mere requisition from the authorities 
of another State, unsupported by evidence of the commission 
of any crime, or of the identity of the person, shall be deemed 
sufficient warranty to drag a man from his home, his family, 
his friends, into a foreign jurisdiction, to be tried by strangers ? 
If so, we have gained little by the revolution of 1776. 
2. The second issue is, is it felony or other crime, within 
the meaning of the constitution of the United States, to aid a 
slave to escape to a free State ? The local laws of one half 
of even the SLAVE States do not make it so. 3. Has SLA 
VERY any constitutional or legal existence in Maryland or 
Virginia ? or does it exist by mere sufferance : the subject of 


restriction and regulation, as gambling is in Hamburg, and was 
in New Orleans at a very recent period ? 4. Is it a crime 
at all, by the law of God, by the common law, or the consti 
tutions of Maryland and Virginia, to help a man out of sla 
very? If not, can a mere local statute law make it so? Can 
laws make acts of humanity and mercy to the helpless and poor 
become crimes by the words written on a parchment, and 
signed by officials ? Can Maryland, who voted public thanks 
and swords of honor to those who delivered a few of our 
countrymen from slavery in Tripoli, make it a crime to help 
her native born citizens to escape from slavery on her own soil f 
Do the waves of the Atlantic change the nature of justice, 
mercy, humanity, and make them crimes and felonies ? 

" Here, then, are the issues, not stated with legal form and 
precision, as my learned counsel may do before the proper 
tribunal, but plainly ; the issues on which THE STATES 
" The issue is not whether I have or have not aided four 
or four thousand slaves to escape from slavery in Maryland 
or elsewhere. Had I done the last, Maryland, with her popu 
lation kept sparse, her resources diminished, and her proud 
name dishonored by slavery, should hold me a public bene 
factor. But, not without mature deliberation I aver it, I AM 
NOT ON TRIAL. I shall not be, in the eyes of mankind. 
This thing cannot be, shall not be, done in a corner. It is 
no obscure fanatic, reckless of right and duty, with whom the 
question is brought to an issue. No Judge O Neill can slan 
der me as he has poor Brown, not only in that parody on pi 
ety, his judicial sentence, but in a recent letter to the British 
public, through the Glasgow Argus ; and endeavor to lessen 
the infamy of making it a crime to help men out of slavery, 
by showing that the personal character of the man, in other 
respects, is such as justly to deprive him of every one s sym 
pathy. No, THANK GOD ! Maryland and Virginia must go 


to trial before the tribunal of the civilized world on this broad 
issue : Will you in order to maintain slavery (which lives in 
your impoverished States only by the annual sales of its in 
crease in the southern shambles,) will you condemn a man of 
Nameless life and unspotted Christian character to your pris 
ons as a common felon ? 

" When the foreign secretary of State of Great Britain, 
Lord Aberdeen, from his place in Parliament, seconded Lord 
Brougham in proclaiming the infamy of Brown s judges, he 
uttered no mere British philipic against anything American ; 
he spoke the sentiments of all the enlightened part of man 
kind, save a narrow and daily decreasing circle in our own 
slave States, in respect to the system of slavery, and in re 
gard to all who attempt to make it a crime to relieve its vic 
tims. Already, scores of public meetings in the free States, 
numbering from one to eight thousand persons each, have 
spoken of my imprisonment in terms like the following. 
These resolves were passed at a 4th of July celebration, on 
Mount Pleasant, the spot fortified by the Americans after the 
battle of Bunker Hill, by the fathers of many of those present, 
to my personal knowledge. About two thousand persons 
were present. 

Resolved, That we have heard, with mingled feelings of 
indignation and sorrow, of the arrest and imprisonment in 
Maryland, of a citizen of Massachusetts, Rev. Charles T. Tor- 
rey, through a requisition of the executive of Virginia, charg 
ing him with having carried out in practice the doctrine of the 
Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal, 
and endowed by their Creator with an inalienable right to 
liberty, and with literally obeying the injunction of holy writ : 


1 Resolved, That as citizens of a State whose bill of rights 
recognizes no slave in the universe of God, assembled upon 
the grass-grown remains of one of the first entrenchments 


thrown up by the men of 1775, within view of the first battle 
fields of the revolution, and of the old cradle of liberty, on the 
anniversary of the declaration of independence, we protest 
in the name of that declaration against this denial of its truths 
and violation of its principles, on the part of the authorities 
of Virginia and Maryland, in the case of our fellow-citizen, 
Mr. Torrey ; and we call upon all who love liberty and hate 
oppression, to unite with us in indignant reprobation of a sys 
tem which can only exist by making humanity a crime a 
practical belief in the doctrines of the revolution, felony and 
obedience to the commands of God, a penitentiary offence ! 

" Nor are the persons who express such views abolitionists 
merely. Few men can be found in the entire North who 
cherish, none who will avow any other sentiments, unless it is 
to serve some base purpose of a partisan political nature. 

" I may be tried, convicted of doing that which mankind 
will pronounce a good and honorable deed, and sent to your 
penitentiary ; the thoughtless crowd, the heated partisan, may 
think lightly of it ; the fanatical, nullifying slaveholder, may 
gloat over his fancied triumph ; but there are not wanting 
men of higher calibre, and more intelligence, in this city and 
State, who will know that the judge who consigns me to a 
prison will not send me alone. The honor and good name of 
the State will bear me company. How will it affect the value 
of Maryland stocks in anti-slavery Europe, to find such a proof 
of a fierce zeal to sustain that slavery which is the bane of your 
prosperity ? What Christian minister, what Christian man, 
from Maryland, can hold up his head in Europe, when asked : 
So you send Christian ministers to a felon s prison in Ma 
ryland, do you, for helping slaves escape from bondage ? 

" Liberty may be taken from me ; my good name cannot, 
until I have done something more to forfeit it, than acts which 
nine-tenths of the civilized world deem to be the bare per 
formance of the duties imposed on us by common humanity 
and the Christian faith. 


" I said, I make no appeal to public sympathy. Let the 
guilty do that ! I shall gi\ 7 e the eminent counsellors who 
plead my cause in the courts, but one instruction ; it is, 
that they make no admission, even by way of argument, that 
it can be a crime to aid one of God s children, formed in his 
image, to escape from slavery. The crime is, to make God s 
child a slave ! 

" If any who read this deem my language that of pride, I 
have only to say that the world will judge. / am a man, 
and lam right, and therefore speak boldly to those who are 
my equals and no more. 


Baltimore Jail, Aug. 29, 1844. 



More than two years had now worn themselves away, and 
Mr. Torrey was goaded, by the suffering he endured within 
the jail, and the slanders which were circulated without, to 
attempt to deliver himself out of the hand of the oppressor. 
The attempt was not successful, and he was kept heavily ironed 
for the next eleven days. His condition during this period, and 
the reasons for trying to escape, you have in his own words. 

" Baltimore Jail, Sept. 14, 1844. 

" My Dearest Wife, I am in much affliction. When I 
wrote you last week, I was suffering with a fever, the ef 
fects of long and close confinement, Yesterday I made an 
attempt to escape, which was detected, or rather betrayed by 
a counterfeiter named Dryer ; and myself and others put in 
to the cells, in irons. The excitement, with a cold cell, and 


irons so heavy and painful as to prevent all sleep, have brought 
on the fever again. I suppose I shall be so confined till Oc 
tober, if I survive so long. I deemed it my duty to try once 
to escape out of the hands of my enemies. But God knows 
best, and has ordered it otherwise." 

After giving some directions in regard to his children, if he 
should be taken away, he proceeds : 

" Do not feel concerned for me, my dear wife. In the 
darkness and anguish of the last night, loaded with a chain 
that prevented my sleeping, standing up, or lying down, I 
was enabled to look up to our Saviour with cheerful confi 
dence, knowing that his gracious hand will order all things 
for our good ; and whether by suffering or otherwise, will help 
me to come off more than conqueror, through him that loved 
us. The chain that is riveted to my ankles will not hinder 
our Lord from communing with me. I suffer for his sake, 
and in his cause, and he will not forsake me. 

" Thank God ! the good men who aided me, are more than 
one hundred miles of, and far out of the reach of my perse 
cutors. I will never allow others to suffer on my account, if 
I can help it. The man, Dryer, who betrayed us, is a negro- 
trader, and is in prison for passing counterfeit money. He 
tried to get my confidence, professed to have become an abo 
litionist, and encouraged us to escape ; all the while betray 
ing our plans to the keepers. There is no trust to be put in 
such wicked men. 

" You need not fear that the abortive attempt will harm 
me, except so far as present suffering is concerned. May 
God bless and comfort you. Kiss both our dear children for 
me. Tell them never to forget to pray for poor father. I 
was much comforted a few days ago, by a letter from brother 
B., of Cambridge, informing me how extensively I was re 
membered in the prayers of Christians, in New York as well 


as in New England, and even in Pennsylvania and Ohio. 
God will hear them, however unworthy may be 
Your affectionate husband, 


" Sabbath, Sept. 22, 1844. 

"My Dearest Wife, It is the Sabbath; perhaps the last 
one I shall be permitted to see this side of eternity. I wish 
to see you once more, but I cannot bear to have you exposed 
to the insults of the wicked, who are doing all they can to 
sink me quickly down to the grave. I write in much pain of 
body. This is the tenth day since I was chained in the cell. 

" I have to write on the floor and at intervals. I am not 
able to rise alone, from severe illness. My old disorder, 
which so nearly killed me in 1835, has returned with all its 
force. My heart throbs constantly and painfully, and my 
head, and body, and limbs are never free from pain. The 
last nine nights, I have slept in all, less than fifteen hours. I 
have not been able to eat what would support an infant. 
You may judge of the state of my body. In mind, I suffer 
less, through divine grace supporting me. But I have new 
sources of trial constantly. On Thursday afternoon, I made 
my will. It was not completed till about dark. Just then, 
my physician came in. He and Mr. Andrews, out of sym 
pathy with a sick man, staid with me an hour longer. To 
day, I am told, that Mr. Andrews is not to be allowed to see 
me again ; nor the physician, without the presence of the 
doctor of the prison. So my enemies rage. But I pray the 
Xord not to forsake me in my extremity. 

" Your last letter was a cordial to me. The story my per 
secutors spread, that you had been poisoned by their false 
hoods, utterly unmanned me. I am sorry my letter to you 
was miscarried. But Miss M. R. Ball, brother Phelps, Capt. 
Taylor, and Mr. Andrews will give you full information in 
regard to all the means they have taken to destroy my cha- 


racter, as well as to injure me in other respects. May God, 
in his mercy, forgive them all their wickedness and malice. I 
do not feel that I have long to live. I would, at least, die 
free from prison and chains. But Christ, our Lord, knows 
best ; and, poorly as I have served him, I trust he will not 
forsake me, in the day of anguish. I believe he has blotted 
out my sins. 

" And now, my beloved wife, and my little Charles and 
Mary, farewell. May the God of all compassion bless, 
guide, comfort and protect you, in life and in death. I may 
not be able to write you again ; but when we are near the 
Lord, we shall, I hope, be near each other. * * * * 

" I am, in sickness and health, living or dying, 
Your affectionate husband, 


After his irons were removed, he addressed the following 
letter to Samuel E. Sewall, of Boston : 

" September 28, 1844. 

"My Dear Friend, Your very kind letter, dated Sep 
tember 14th, I received yesterday, and with it, enclosed, $5, 
for which I thank you ; but feel much more indebted to you 
for the sympathy and Christian feeling you express, than for 
the money. 

" For a fortnight past, my situation has been trying 
enough, for one who is so little disposed to be a martyr as 
myself. My lower limbs half paralyzed by a chain ; my 
nervous system in such a state that I could sleep little, and 
was not free from intense pain, chiefly in the heart and brain, 
a single hour. So weak too, as to be unable to sit up, or 
rise without assistance ; conscious that my mind was wander 
ing strangely, breathing an atmosphere as foul as the vault of 
a privy, with little human sympathy, and very little attention 
save what a chained fellow-sufferer could give me. 


" With such causes of suffering, bodily and mental, I re 
gard my continuance in life as a special token of divine good 
ness ; and feel bound to acknowledge, with deep gratitude, 
the grace of God in supporting my heart by His good Spirit. 
My irons were removed on Tuesday ; my bedstead and clean 
clothing restored in the course of the week ; and again I 
have a tolerable supply of such things as a sick man needs. 
I am somewhat better in health, though very feeble. Though 
unable to sit up, and nearly deprived of sleep, the necessity 
of exertion rouses some degree of mental elasticity. 

" I must contest my right to be a free citizen of Maryland. 
In so doing, Maryland will be free. Don t laugh at a poor 
sick prisoner, for writing in such a strain. I am not quite 
crazy to-night. Nay, I am sane enough to claim my epau 
lettes with Col. Whittier, and I am sober enough to see and 
believe that God is moving in the hearts of this people, to 
bring about the day of Jubilee. 

" My prison will be the last prison of Liberty in this 
State. * * 


The sufferings, to which Mr. Torrey makes allusion in this 
and his preceding letters, were not all he was called to en 
dure, during the eventful period subsequent to his attempt to 
escape. The scorching remarks of many papers upon his 
attempt to break jail, together with the " horror" expressed at 
his unwillingness to " suffer wrong," for a time, blinded some 
good men, and induced them to withdraw their sympathy 
from him. As soon as Mr. Torrey s health would permit, 
these considerations called forth from him the following 


" I have commonly acted on the maxim of the late venera 
ble Dr. Emmons, viz. to do what I thought right, and leave 


to others the business of justifying me or not, as they pleased. 
But in this case, when I attempted to do what, in ordinary 
cases, is a violation oFjust law. I feel bound to depart from my 
usual course, and ask a hearing. 

" First, As to the facts. I obtained from friends in an 
other city, some saws and chisels with which to escape from 
prison. No prisoner but myself knew where they were ob 
tained, when they came, or who brought them. The persons 
who brought them to me, in the jail, did not know what they 
brought. To them I never spoke or wrote on the subject. I 
had most of the tools many weeks, and all of them for a con 
siderable time before any prisoner knew it. I never asked 
any prisoner to unite with me in the effort to escape. Neither 
the * vigilance of that faithful officer, Mr. John Hoey/ nor the 
treachery of Dryer, nor anything else but my sickness, and 
such a degree of physical debility as to hinder me from doing 
my part of the labor and watching, prevented the entire suc 
cess of my plan of escape. Sick, myself; betrayed by the 
counterfeiter, Dryer, (who lived on the food I gave him out 
of pity, and then basely betrayed me,) my attempt was de 
feated. I made all the arrangements for the effort before I 
had been a week in prison. The first arrangements being 
defective, I made better ones at a later period. 

" Secondly, Why make such an attempt at all ? How does 
it consist with your duty to submit as a Christian to unde 
served evils, for Christ s sake ? Can you justify yourself to 
Him, as well as to society ? My answer shall be frank and 
simple. One of my motives I cannot wholly approve, on 
strict Christian principles. In all other respects, I think I 
have a right to the sympathy and countenance of all honor 
able and good men, in this matter. 

" 1. When I was committed to jail, every single item of the 
evidence implicatiny me, in the Heckrotte case, was false and 
perjured; yet so carefully planned as to make it well nigh 
impossible to prove it so, by second testimony. Each witness 


was very careful to have met me alone ! One man, however, 
swore to having seen me f at my mother s house in Harford 
county, Md., in 1831 or 32. My Massachusetts readers 
will laugh at so gross a perjury. But the knave was very 
anxious to identify me ! In the Winchester (Va.) case, 
where there is not a particle of true evidence against me, a 
false witness had been prepared to give direct testimony 
against me there. Not doubting, from the known character, 
threats and pay of my prosecutors, that such evidence, to any 
needed extent, would be brought forward, I regarded the hope 
of escaping it as vain ; at least, while I remained shut up in 
prison. 2. From the time of my arrest, the whole clique of 
slave traders, slave-catching police men, low slaveholders, 
and their abettors, including one or two of the prison officers, 
have made it their business to abuse and slander me and my 
friends, with the general object of preventing the existence, 
or at least the expression, of any personal or Christian sym 
pathy for me. I have had { too many friends for their pur 
poses, as they often complained. I found threats, persuasions 
and falsehoods freely resorted to, to hinder respectable citi 
zens of Baltimore from visiting me ; and with success. My 
kind landlady and the young ladies of her family, almost daily 
called on me, to give me a chance to breathe the fresh air, by 
walking a few moments in the prison yard. They are poor ; 
they are not anti-slavery people ; but have human hearts, 
and are Virginians. They were very kind to one almost a 
stranger. This was enough for malice to work upon. 

" Suddenly the young ladies were excluded, with rude in 
sults, from the jail yard. The reason assigned was, such 
gross lewdness in the sight of half a score of persons, con 
stantly passing, as would imply in me and the lady, a degree 
of shameless degradation that not even rashness and drunk 
enness would excuse in common street walkers ! Such a 
point is not to be argued. Those who deem me capable of 
such vice are very welcome to maintain their opinions till the 


judgment day ! This shameless tale was trumpeted about the 
city. Of course, I was the last person to hear of it. It did 
me much injury in many worthy minds. But QGP" no person 
who circulated it seemed to be sufficiently respectable to jus 
tify a direct contradiction or action for slander. It was deemed 
sufficient, therefore, to connect a general demand for investi 
gation as to my character and standing, with some other mat 
ters, in an article in the Baltimore Sun. This, for the time, 
perfectly silenced the band of miscreants. But they had gone 
too far to retreat. At this time, Mr. Deane Walker, formerly 
a merchant in this city, but now a respectable citizen of Med- 
way, where my family now are, came to Baltimore on busi 
ness of his own. Hearing the flying and lying reports of these 
persons, without saying a word to me, he appears to have 
made some inquiries of them, as to what they alleged against 

" \^ =a> Forthwith they spread the story through the city, as 
far as they could, that Mr. Torrey had long been separated 
from his wife ; and she had sent on Mr. D. Walker to obtain 
evidence to get a divorce from him. So one of them impu 
dently told me. Mr. Walker had brought me a kind letter 
from my wife ; and I knew her incapable of hypocrisy. One 
of them met one of my counsel in the street, and told his story 
in triumph. When the frequency of my correspondence 
with Mrs. Torrey was suggested as inconsistent with his 
tale, the wretch dared assail her good name. She can t 
be his true wife, said the creature. How could I, a prisoner, 
in the hands of such beings, tell how far their malice had 
reached. Might they not have poisoned even the confidence 
of my wife and her friends ? The very thought was mad 
dening I confess that my feelings, in this matter, were not 
very Christian. They were too much like indignant nature 
to be very Christ-like. It was not till after my attempt to 
escape, that I received from Mrs. Torrey a letter contradict 
ing the whole of their atrocious falsehoods, so far as they had 


connected her and her friends with their tales. In this con 
nection it should be said, that these persons have spared no 
falsehood to destroy the good name of the family in which I 
boarded. The busiest of these agents of shame are a noted 
slave trader and two police men. Persons like these, who 
hunt and sell the poor colored people, may be expected to 
vilify poor white persons, when they have an end to secure. 

" The time has not yet come for a full exposure of the mo 
tives of these wretches ; but it is not far off. These slan 
ders determined me to escape, if I could. 

" Thirdly. Surrounded by low defamers, met by perjury 
in the lower courts, I deemed my only chance of JUSTICE to 
be an appeal to the UNITED STATES COURT. This was de 
layed, first, by the refusal of the Maryland judge to take 
bail, pending the Virginia requisition ; and, secondly, by the 
refusal of the U. S. judges to grant a hearing in the Virginia 
case, till the former was disposed of, by bail or otherwise ! I 
endeavored to procure bail. Here, too, my vigilant enemies 
interposed, by persuasions and threats, to prevent my obtain 
ing bail. Several responsible men agreed to become my se 
curity, and, in succession, were driven from it by the agency 
of a certain lawyer, with whom justice has a long score to 
settle, yet. 

" Thus deprived of my only hope of a fair trial, my health 
already broken down, and my brain fevered by protracted 
and close imprisonment, deeming all the charges made against 
me, criminal in those who made them ; I deemed an escape 
from Baltimore jail justifiable, on the same principles on 
which the escape of Paul was justified, when he was let 
down from the wall in a basket. Let those who judge other 
wise, give their reasons I will try to give them due weight. 
But so long as I see SLAVERY to be a HEAVEN-DARING 
CRIME, and all laws that maintain it, and all persons who en 
force them, to be obnoxious to the divine displeasure, I am 
afraid I shall not be convinced of my sin. 


Fourthly. But the other prisoners : have you no scru 
ples as to the escape of men guilty of what you and all men 
justly deem crimes ? / have. 1. The case of Dryer, the 
counterfeiter, troubled my conscience not a little : not the less 
so, because he was a slave trader. Perhaps that is the rea 
son why the press of Baltimore has treated him with so much 
tenderness ! 2. There was a boy named Davis, charged with 
stealing a rein, worth twenty-five or thirty-seven cents, not 
guilty, as I believe, though not a good boy, by any means. 
3. A man, named Murphy, who, contrary to law, had already 
been confined twenty-four days on suspicion only ! since dis 
charged. 4. An Irishman, charged with a petty theft, com 
mitted while so drunk as not to know what he was about. 
The poor man, chained, himself, has, since that time, waited 
on me, in my severe illness, with the patience and kindness 
of a brother, without fee or reward. 5. A man charged with 
aiding in cutting down a Whig pole, while drunk, not a very 
heinous sin, when sober, though a deed of folly. 6. A man 
called Southmeade, charged with stealing a horse and sleigh. 
Such were my room-mates. Casuists may settle for them 
selves how much guilt I ought to feel for risking the escape 
of these persons. So far as myself was concerned, I believe 
it would please God if I could escape with no injury to oth 
ers, just as certainly as I believe his frown rests on all who 
keep me in prison, on such pleas as those alleged against me, 
viz : mercy and compassion to the poor of the land. 

" Fifthly. < But those bullets, that powder, and that torn 
letter about pistols, and what not, how do you account for 
that ? I have to say, I am not ashamed of the contents of 
that letter. I have offered Mr. Pinkney, the deputy attorney, 
and also the board of visitors, exact copies for publication, 
(names only omitted,) or for any other use they please to 
make of them. The powder and balls were sent me by 
mistake. We had no weapons to use them ; and did not in 
tend to have any in or near the prison. Some of the com- 


pany insisted on being armed after we left the prison. I 
commend them to all who believe in the right of self-defence. 
I do not. 

" THE RESULT : Betrayed, all the parties, save Dryer 
and the Whig pole man, were heavily ironed, and placed in 
damp, low arched cells, and treated worse than if we had 
been murderers. Two of the three murderers now in this 
jail, have never been ironed ; the third for a few hours only. 
The first twenty-four hours I was loaded with irons weigh 
ing, I judge, twenty-five pounds, so twisted that I could neith 
er stand up, lie down, or sleep. We had the dirty, damp 
floor, and one backless chair to sit or sleep on. Lighter 
irons were then placed on me, and kept on twelve days ; du 
ring all of which, aside from the effects of the irons, I was 
unable to sit up, and most of the time, to get up without 
help. It would have touched any heart, not wholly dead to 
human feeling, to see poor John Stewart holding up his irons 
with one hand, and with the other raising up the chained and 
emaciated sick man, and tenderly ministering to his wants and 
his weakness. If I live, and have the means, LESLIE shall 
perpetuate it. Instead of reproaches, John constantly cheered 
me ; but for him, I should not have lived to tell it. May God 
bless him ! During these twelve days, my bed lay on the 
hard, damp floor. My linen became loathsome from filth. 
The air of the cell was constantly like a confined privy vault. 
[They were cleansing a large vault that for twelve years had 
been undisturbed !] The air is less impure now. Seven of 
these twelve nights I slept none, from pain, and the utter 
prostration of the nervous system. The remaining nights, 
save one, I slept from one to four hours. I am still nearly 
deprived of sleep, and am unable to sit up. With pain I 
stagger across the floor of the cell, when obliged to go, yet I 
am much better. 

" On Monday, the eleventh of these days of horror, Mr. 
Pinckney, the acting district attorney, learning my situation 


from my physician, came to see me, and ordered the removal 
of the irons, and the restoration of the comforts and decencies 
of life, such as my condition required. The humane warden, 
Mr. Steener, assented ; but his subordinates refused to obey. 
However, I got my bedstead that day, and the next, he was 
able to enforce obedience, and the irons were removed from 
all. The circulation gradually returned to my sleepy, half- 
paralyzed limbs ; and I am now so much better as to indicate 
that six months careful nursing might restore my health as 
it was last June. I am very weak, much emaciated, and my 
nervous system in the same state in which it was in 1835, 
when I was compelled to leave Andover seminary, and de 
vote nearly a year to the sole business of regaining health. 

" Do I complain ? God forbid. * Shall I receive good at 
the hand of the Lord, and shall I not receive evil ? What 
ever I may deserve at the hands of my fellow men, (and I 
think it is not chains and a prison,) I desire humbly to con 
fess my sins in his sight. Let him do with me as it seems 
good in his sight. I am in the power of the wicked, but their 
triumph is short. My God, even the living God, is my trust 
in prison, my hope in sickness, and my strength in the day of 
weakness. I deemed it due to him, to my family, to myself, 
to try to escape from my foes. Having failed, I shall submit 
cheerfully to his will, and strive to overcome evil by suffer 
ing, which is the next duty. Such is my justification, writ 
ten on my bed, with a feeble hand and aching brain. I be 
lieve it will commend itself to my friends. If not, to that, 
also, God will help me to submit cheerfully. * He is my 
strength and my shield. 


Baltimore Jail, Cell No. 3, Sept. 28, 1844." 





In a letter to J. W. Alden, Esq., Boston, Oct. 10, Mr. 
Torrey gives a minute description of the cell to which he 
was removed after his attempt to break jail. 

" I wrote a little on familiar topics yesterday. A night 
without sleep, in spite of powerful opiates, was the conse 
quence. So it will be to-night, a night of pain and restless 
ness. This is aggravated by the light of the lamp, which we 
are compelled to keep burning in such a position as to light 
the whole cell. It is often like two balls of fire before my 

" Our cell is about sixteen by eighteen feet, on the floor. 
It is arched length wise, from the floor, the arch forming about- 
half a circle, of eight feet radius. The door is in the middle 
of one end ; the window about thirty inches square, at the 
side of the other end ; fire-place in the middle of one side. 
"We are well supplied with rats and mice, red ants, and mos 
quitoes. The front floor of the cell is about a foot below the 
level of the ground ; the back, opening on the entry, is about 
five feet below the surface. Its thin floor rests on small joists, 
nearly or quite resting on the ground. On the whole it is an 
exceedingly good place to put a sick man to a lingering death. 

" One of the prison officers told me, it was something to be 
expected, that the health of a prisoner should suffer* " 

That Mr. Torrey did not prove an exception to this rule 
of suffering, may be seen from the following letters, though 
hardly any one would doubt it, when they considered that he 


was thrust into this cell, which must of necessity be damp, in 
such warm weather, as to render a fire uncomfortable, 

" I am very feeble, and my nervous system is perhaps in 
a worse state than ever. My digestion is good, and I sleep 
some, though it is not very refreshing, I am still in the cell, 
damp, and too cold, or too hot and fetid, according to circum 
stances. We have to keep a fire, day and night, to keep any 
ways comfortable. 

" My former room-mate, John Stewart, or Sterling, his real 
name, was acquitted yesterday. My lawyers defended him. 
I am very glad of the result, he was so kind to me. He is a 
man of some education, broken down by whiskey. He signed 
a teetotal pledge I wrote for him. Rum and revenge have 
kept him in different prisons ten years out of the last eighteen 
Poor man ! 

" They have put in a boy of seventeen to take care of me, 
a boy of kind feelings, but sleepy and thoughtless, and a poor 
substitute for Johnny, 

" Our dear, dear little children ; they are often in my mind. 
God will take care of them, and keep them from evil, far bet 
ter than I could do, if I was free to watch over them. Fear 
not ! with niy whole heart and sotd, I gave Charles to the 
Savior to supply my lack of service to the heathen. Never, 
for one moment, have I wished him any other destiny ; and I 
feel sure the Lord accepted him at my hands. I should love 
to talk with those dear ones once more. In God s time, per 
haps, he will permit it" 

To Mrs. H. W. Williams, Oct. 23, he writes : 

" Your very kind letter, dated Sept. 28, reached me some 
ten days since ; but I have been unable to reply to it from 
weakness, both bodily and mental. It is more than six weeks 


since I have been confined to my bed. But enough of these 
bodily evils. * Fear not them which kill the body, but after 
that, have no more that they can do. I trust I can heartily 
enter into the spirit of that word of cheer. I do not consider 
my restoration to health and usefulness by any means certain, 
if I was set free to-morrow. But I am anxious, while I have 
any vigor of body and mind, to give slavery as many blows 
as I can. * * 

" I find the road to Jesus shorter from the floor of a prison, 
than it was last summer from your comfortable parlor. So I 
read, and pray, and sing with a feeble voice, 

" Burst, ye emerald gates, and bring 
To my enraptured vision !" 

Get the hymn-book and sing the whole of that sweet song." 
I find peace, such as I have not known for years; so there 
is no sorrow without its joy. When the sun is dark without, 
the Son shines within, and there is no night where He is. 
You see I ramble about, and have little else steady but the 
heart, which is fixed, trusting in God." 
Yours, with respect, 


It was stated in an extract above, from a preceding letter, 
that after Johnny Stewart was released, a boy of seventeen 
years old was placed in the cell with Mr. Torrey to take care 
of him. To this boy, Samuel E. Davis, important allusion is 
made in the following letter to Horace Dresser, counsellor at 
law, New York city. 

" Baltimore Jail, Nov. 4. 

" A fellow-prisoner, about to be pardoned out, has made a 
very important confession to me, which may lead to my de 
liverance from this prison. It relates to a combination of 
and certain other parties to secure my conviction, by 
bribed and perjured evidence. 


" Davis, who made confession to me, said, he was to have 
two hundred dollars for making certain statements, and other 
parties were to be proportionally paid. Southmeade, alias 
Hatch, alias a dozen other names, is to have two hundred 
dollars and a nolle prosequi in his own case, to testify to pre 
tended confessions made by me to him, in prison !" 

In a letter to J. W. Alden, upon the same subject, Mr. T. 
writes : 

" Do you ask, Have I ever made any confessions to him ? 
I reply, No ; not in the least. Their testimony will be en 
tirely false. The only fact that Southmeade has to go upon 
is, that if we got out of jail, we were to meet in a certain 
grave yard, and to go on a certain road, and to stop at a cer 
tain house about fifteen miles out of town. 

" They are to testify to the route taken, as well as the 
identity of the negroes. 

" Is there no escape ? I much, very much doubt. Davis, 
who confessed to me, is himself worthless. Convicted of pet 
ty theft, Gallagher got him pardoned. But it seems, from his 
own statement, that he will swear any way, if paid for it. 
His only motive for confessing to me was, that he had quar 
relled with Southmeade. He had also agreed to testify to 
confessions made by me in prison, and Southmeade and him 
self wrote what they would testify to the State s attorney." 

How well Southmeade performed the part assigned him, 
the sequel painfully showed. Davis, after he was pardoned, 
was not to be found. Perhaps the person, or persons, from 
whom he was to receive the two hundred dollars, finding that 
he would not testify, induced him to leave the city, that he 
might not be summoned against Southmeade. 



On account of ill health, Mr. Torrey s trial had been pre 
viously deferred till February ; but after the disclosure of the 
above-mentioned conspiracy, the reader will not be surprised 
to find in the following letter, the announcement of a more 
speedy trial. 

" Baltimore Jail, Md., Nov. 21, 1844. 

" My dear Alden, Father Ide has written you to apprize 
you of the sudden change of tactics in my prosecutors. Now 
my trial is to be hurried on, as fast as possible, before I have 
time to overthrow the new devices of the enemy against me. 
A letter received to-night, disposes of one of their last wit 
nesses, showing him to be a graduate of Sing Sing, where he 
took a degree of H. T. (horse thief.) But that will not be 
enough ; and before your next weekly issue, I shall probably 
be beyond the reach of succor, and deprived of all intercourse 
with my friends for many years. Had the steps been taken 
to place the matter before the Supreme Court, I should have 
cared less. I am somewhat used to suffering. But to suffer 
uselessly, comes a little hard. 

" I never saw the paper containing the list of persons who 
contributed to my relief, and I know but few of them. But 
to one and all of them, I beg leave to express my heartfelt 
gratitude for their kindness to me. God will reward them 
ten-fold in their own bosoms, though I cannot. They who 
give a cup of cold water, in the name of my blessed Savior, 
to the least of his children, will not lose their reward in this 
life or in the life to come ; to which this is the introductory 
stage, the portico, the adytum. Heaven is only the upper 
room of our dwelling place, and its rewards are just as near, 
just as sure. 

" In settling up my accounts, I may be obliged, notwith 
standing Mr. Johnson s liberal refusal of any further fee, (of 


which I was not apprised till yesterday,) to draw on you for 
a small sura, which I trust you will meet. I know various 
persons have in hand for me more than I shall want, though 
they are widely scattered. 

" I shall try to reply to Scoble this week ; and also to pre 
pare a DEFENCE, that will serve at least for a parting salute 
to slavery. 

"As no further effort can be made, this opportunity hav 
ing passed away, to place my Virginia case before the Su 
preme Court till my imprisonment here (if I am convicted) 
shall end ; and, as I shall then, to all practical purposes, be 
forgotten by those who head the abolition movement, who 
will be absorbed in duties and cares, ever new, ever increas 
ing, I suppose I must prepare my mind and heart for a long 
continued bondage here and in Virginia. When the slaves 
chains are broken, mine may be ; but probably not before. 
In the circle of those who know and love me, my prison will 
supply at least an additional impulse to labor for the day of 
redemption for the suffering poor. 

"I judge, from what my wife says, that the tale in regard 
to my alleged * second attempt to escape, is not understood 
by my friends. When my clothing, etc., were restored to me 
some time in September, two saws were placed in my razor- 
case, by one of the keepers, as a trap. After advising with 
my counsel, I called in the warden, and handed them to him. 
Some one of the subordinates, to stir up popular opinion against 
me, as a most desperate fellow, had a tale of a ( second at 
tempt to escape put in several of the Baltimore papers. I 
sent a letter to the American, exposing the hoax, which was 
but partially inserted. This is the whole truth, so far as I 
know. If there are any wrong impressions about it among 
my friends, publish this statement. At the time of this alleged 
* second attempt, I was too feeble to cross the cell without 
the help of my fellow prisoner ! 

" I may as well improve this occasion to add a few 



" Your readers, in years past, will not fail to recal the 
atrocious colonization laws of this State ; laws almost perfectly 
nullified by the voice of public sentiment. Now and then, 
men greedy of gain will enforce them. A colored man, poor, 
free, of good character, belonging in Frederick county, Md., 
went into Pennsylvania with a drove of cattle, and was gone 
more than the legal twenty days. On his return, two miscre 
ants, utterly worthless in purse and character, but with whit 
ish faces, complained of him, got him in jail, and in various 
ways contrived to run up the bill of fine and costs to over $70. 
For this he was sold as a slave for life, purchased by a slave- 
trader in this city, (Slatter, I think,) and sent to the far South. 
It was this summer. 

" Another case : A certain Dr. D s, of Howard district, 

sent to this jail an old black man, his wife, a light mulatto 
woman, and her four little children, all whiter than their 
mother ! Two of them, the woman said, were her master s. 
The husband said they all were. No doubt of it. They 
have since been sold to the slave-traders. Such occurrences 
are by no means unusual here. Yet the CHRISTIANS of Bal 
timore never know anything about them, when you ask ; in 
truth, it would be incredible news to nine-tenths of the better 
sort of people of this city, that from two to four thousand 
slaves are every year sold, in their midst, including at least 
five hundred members of the body of Christ, humble, prayer 
ful, ignorant, but sincere Christians. Such topics they do not 
inquire into. The righteous perisheth and no man of them 
layeth it to heart. Why? The victims are poor, black, or 
yellow, and AMERICAN SLAVES ; victims of the great Amer 
ican slave trade. But it is perfect folly to rebuke the slave 
t rade. The trader is the mere agent of the slaveholder. The 
GREAT CRIME is to hold a man in slavery. 


" Items of a different class : It is very common here for 
the police, and other slave hunting knaves, to play tricks on 
slave holders. I will give you a few samples. One police 
firm has in pay, over twenty colored spies here, besides oth 
ers in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Their business is to in 
veigle slaves to run away, hide them up, and betray them. 
When the master misses his slave, he soon advertises his 
$100 reward ; often he applies to this very police firm for 
aid ! In a few days they are ready, of course, to hand over 
the poor victim of their arts, and pocket the reward, besides 
getting praise as very vigilant officers ! They once had in 
their pay an active member of a northern vigilance commit 
tee, who is well known to me. He is not now on the com 

" Another trick is somewhat similar. The colored people, 
for ten miles round, are induced to come to Baltimore, on the 
Sabbath, to see their friends, and attend church. The constable, 
desirous of raising the wind, finds one without a pass, puts 
him in jail, or some place of confinement sometimes one 
of the slave prisons says nothing about it till the master of 
fers his reward ; and then Mr. Constable coolly pockets the 
reward of his knavery. Besides, the slave, as a suspected 
runaway, is commonly sold to the traders at a low price, and 
the trader, out of pure gratitude (!) gives the officer another 
fee. I defeated one such precious scheme since my impris 
onment, by writing to the slaveholder a humane man and 
thus saved a pious slave from being torn from his family for 
life. I got two enemies by it. 

" Another trick is managed by the connivance of the jail 
keepers. A runaway is put in jail, and the keepers, for a 
specified fee, ($5,00,) give exclusive notice to a particular tra 
der of the fact. This gives the trader a chance to negotiate 
with the master, at a distance, and get his slave at half price, 
buying him on the wing. This has often been done this 
summer. One of the visitors of the jail, to whom I mentioned 



it, defended it as a customary perquisite of the prison 

" Another l perquisite of these gentry, is twenty per cent, 
of the fees for all the cases they are able to give a lawyer, 
with whom a bargain is previously made. Of course, none 
but a very inferior lawyer would degrade himself by making 
such a bargain. This summer, a very amusing quarrel took 
place between our keepers and their legal coadjutor, as to the 
honesty of the latter in paying over the proper share of the 
fees ! They tried to drive a bargain with another one of 
my friends but received no countenance from him. You 
see the art of * sponging is not altogether to be classed 
among the lost arts of a primeval world. 

" These hungry animals are very ready to plunder the 
slaveholder ; they do it often, of course ; they will not scru 
ple to do the like with the free colored man, and others of the 
more defenceless classes. I believe I owe not a little of the 
brutality and vile reports of which I have been the object, to 
the vengeance of parties whom I disappointed of such profits 
since my imprisonment. I am not sorry for any thing of that 
kind I have done. God did not endow me with the capacity 
of sitting still and seeing the poor trampled on, and knavery 
prospering on their woes. Otherwise, I should have pursued 
the career of profitable conservatism, to which Dr. Woods 
tried so hard to allure me ! That I should have pleased 
God by so doing, I may well doubt. Farewell ; let the slave 
be always in your heart, and do not quite forget, in my pris 
on, your brother, 


To his friend, J. M. McKim, of Philadelphia, he also 
writes, in view of his approaching trial : 

" My Dear McKim, Yours, dated October 30, and mail 
ed November 16, reached me to-day. To-morrow I am to 

LETTER TO J. M. MC imi. 169 

be carted over to Court for trial. My trial will not, I sup 
pose, be urged before Friday, possibly, not till Monday next. 
But it is probable this is the last letter you will receive from 
me for years. So strong is the web of perjury around me, 
that I have no real hope of acquittal, especially as the trial is 
to be suddenly pushed on, after a formal agreement once 
made to defer it till next term. 

" I will thank you to acknowledge the receipt for me, of 
the six dollars you enclosed, from the friends whom I never 
saw, but to whom I am grateful for their kindness. My im 
prisonment in the Penitentiary will entirely prevent the trial 
before the Supreme Court. I consider, therefore, that nearly 
every useful purpose of my imprisonment, to the cause, is 
lost. I know there will be * indignation meetings, speeches, 
and resolves ; that my name, for a while, will give point to 
now and then an eloquent sentence. But, as to any serious 
effort for my relief, it will be like Big Ben, in Bucks coun 
ty. When the three hundred and fifty dollars, to rescue him, 
were wanted, he was discovered to be a bad man.* He was 
good food for agitation, but no object of practical benevo 
lence. Don t say I am unjust, or bitter : I am neither. But 
I estimate human nature as it is. It is true, I have many, 
MANY friends. I have slanderers, I have enemies enough, 
but, go where you will, where I am known, and you will find 
some of the very best men and women in the world, who are 
warmly attached to me. I thank God for it ; and their prayers 
may secure me an abundant supply of the spirit of Jesus 
Christ in my prison. Still, I expect to be forgotten by most 
persons. Even those who love me will be absorbed in new 
cares, new duties. 

" Happily, God is multiplying similar cases to such an ex 
tent that Abolitionists will not be able to refuse any longer, 
to discusser embrace better principles on the points involved, 

* Our friend does not seem to know that " Big Ben" was redeemed : 
six hundred dollars were paid for him. J. M. McKim. 


than those now current among the mass of them. They must 
learn the DUTY of making wise plans, and executing them 
for the personal rescue of the poor of the land from bondage ; 
just as we would do if our own family relatives were the 
bondsmen. I intended to write something on this subject, 
for the press, but I shall not have time now. Perhaps I shall 
make out a sketch before I close. 

" My bodily health is better. I sleep pretty well, have a 
good appetite, and digest light food well. My neuralgia, how 
ever, continues, with frequent and severe pain. My strength 
is increasing, slowly, though a very little exertion sends me 
to bed. With your arm, perhaps I could walk from No. 31, 
to Chesnut street, if I had the chance ! I am afraid Mary 
land will not make money by my weaving silk, for a long while 
to come ! 

" At all events, my physical comforts will not be diminish 
ed by the change to the Penitentiary. Ah the reformed* 
system of prison discipline, with its horrible secret scourg- 
ings, shower baths, and six days starvings, (which no man 
wholly escapes) these ARE charming prospects ahead ! I 
tell you, McKim, more than one-third of those who are in 
our reformed prisons two years and more, leave them so im 
paired in both bodily and mental health, as to be but one short 
remove from imbecility of mind and actual sickness of body. 
It is only by frequent pardons that the per centage of insanity 
and death in these * reformed prisons, is kept so low as it ap 
pears in the reports. The silence, the enforced mental in 
action, the prevention of all activity of the affections, the so 
cial nature ; these directly, and powerfully, tend to overthrow 
the mind, to make it imbecile while the physical cruelties 
are enough to break down any nervous or feeble frame. I 
have been gradually gathering facts on that subject for years, 
and did hope, this winter, to prepare an elaborate essay on it, 
for the press. What a host of intentions a prison shuts up ! 

" Am I happy ? Yes, on the whole these ten days my 


dear wife has cheered my poor cell with her smiles for she 
will not let me see her shed any tears, lest it make me un 
happy. Nor will she speak save cheerfully. l The woman 
is THE GLORY of the man/ But, in prospect of being 
shut out from all the world, from all society, lam not unhap 
py for the presence and spirit of our blessed Saviour are 
not withheld from me. The most painful emotions I feel in 
regard to it, are, that I am to be condemned to a tiseless ex 
istence ; no activity for the good of others or my own. I 
shall be thirty-one years old, the day after the morrow, the 
21st. The most useful part of life I must spend in prison. 
But God did not need me, in His service, in freedom, and 
therefore it is I am in prison. When Peter was wanted, the 
angel came and opened his prison doors ; but when he had 
done his work, he was not rescued from the cross. Perhaps 
God will yet make my prison the day-star of hope to the 
slaves of Maryland and Virginia. I shall not be very unhap 
py in solitude that most awful of all solitudes, compulsory 
silence from year to year so long as God gives me his love 
and his spirit. Those who are free must labor the more dili 
gently for the suffering slave/ 



Mr. Torrey was taken from the jail in Baltimore and con 
ducted to the court-house for trial, Nov. 29, 1844. Reverdy 
Johnson, Esq., undertook the defence of Mr. Torrey ; but we 
must say that he appeared far more anxious to defend Mary 
land, than to obtain a good deliverance for Mr. Torrey. 

While awaiting his trial at the court-house, expecting 
every moment to be arraigned, a cordial was administered to 


his agitated feelings by the perusal of a letter from Prof. C. 
D. Cleveland, Philadelphia, which was handed to him while 
there, informing Mr. Torrey, that he had written to several 
persons of his acquaintance, men of influence, urging them to 
do all in their power to secure for Mr. T. a fair and impartial 

"I wrote," says Prof. Cleveland, "to my honored kins 
man, Mrs. Cleveland s uncle, Judge Nisbet, not knowing that 
the case would come before him. I also wrote to my former 
beloved pupil, George "W. Brown, Esq., of whom I am truly 
proud, not only for his talents but his high moral worth ; and 
to my early and richly prized friend, Hon. Charles F. Mayer. 
From both I received the kindest replies replies worthy of 
their heads and hearts, showing that they were men, and felt 
for their brother man, and stood ready to do whatever ser 
vice they could. 

" I wrote also to Rev. John Duncan, and to Rev. George 
W. Burnap, quoting to them the words of our blessed Savior : 
* I was sick, and in prison, and ye visited me. From them 
I have received no answer, nor do I know whether they have 
ever complied with my request. If not, I can only pray, that 
if ever, in the providence of God, they shall be brought to 
such extremity, they may have some pious brother to visit 
them and administer consolation. 

Your friend and brother, 


Such a letter, and at a time too when he was fearing an 
unfair trial, could not fail to revive his drooping spirits. 

Whether Mr. Torrey s fears, lest he should become the 
victim of perjured evidence, were groundless or not, may be 
seen by a perusal of the report of the trial. We give the re 
port contained in the Baltimore Sun, which is more correct 
than that of the other papers, though none of them are per 
fectly accurate. 




Present, Judges Brice, Nislxt and Worthington^ 

Friday, Nov. 29tk. 

The case of the State v. Torrey, being called, the Clerk pro 
ceeded to empanel a jury, when some discussion took place 
on the right of challenge, the counsel for the State contending 
for the right to strike or challenge from the jurors, and the coun 
sel for the defence demanding the privilege to challenge twenty, 
and denying the State s right to challenge at all. The question 
was discussed at some length, when the court decided that the 
State had the right to challenge four jurors who might be se 
lected by the defence, and the defence had the -right of peremp 
tory of twenty. The regular panel was then called, and ex 
hausted by peremptory challenge or for cause, before a jury 
could be obtained ; a number of talesmen were summoned, and 
a jury at length selected and sworn, as follows : H. D. Boone, 
Allen Elder, William Young, William Ensor, Thomas McCon- 
nell, William Johnson, William Faiichild, John Bratt, J. A. Bos- 
ley, L. E. Pontier, George Brown, Elisha Lee. 

State v. Charles T. Torrey. In opening the case, Mr. Richard 
son stated that he held in his hand three indictments against the 
traverser, charging him with having enticed, persuaded and as 
sisted three slaves, the property of Mr. Wm. lleckrotte, to escape 
from his possession. The first of these indictments charges the 
offence with reference to a negro woman named Hannah Goose 
berry ; a negro girl named Judah Gooseberry ; and a negro boy 
named Stephen Gooseberry. Each of the indictments contain 
four counts. The first charging the traverser with having en 
ticed the party to escape ; the second with having persuaded 
the party to escape ; the third with having assisted the party to 
escape; and the fourth embracing the other three, charges him 
with having- enticed, persuaded, and assisted the party to escape. 
Each of the indictments were exactly alike, with the exception 
of the names of the negroes. The woman, Hannah Gooseberry, 
was about forty years of age ; the girl, Judah, the daughter of 
Hannah, was about nineteen years of age ; and the boy Stephen, 


was about seventeen years of age. The girl and boy being the 
son and daughter of Hannah Gooseberry. 

Mr. Richardson opened the case with a plain statement of the 
facts lie expected to prove, and then proceeded to call the wit 

Mr. Heckrotte, sworn. Is the owner of three slaves, one wo 
man named Hannah Gooseberry, about forty years of age, stout, 
good countenance, with a tooth out in front ; she is not a black 
woman, but a sort of chestnut color, rather stout and fleshy ; is 
the owner of a girl named Judah, the daughter of Hannah ; she 
is a stout, well proportioned girl of a dark color, and something 
of the build of her mother; and a boy named Stephen, who is 
about sixteen ; rather stout made ; he was dressed in a dark 
brown cassinet jacket and pantaloons, striped shirt, and thick 
shoes; the other had a variety of clothing, some black dresses 
which I bought for them when their mistress died, and they had 
some fancy dresses which I cannot now describe ; they were 
first absented on the 4th of June, between eight and nine o clock, 
after they took their suppers. I have never seen them since ; 
of my own knowledge, I know nothing of them since. They 
were good, excellent servants, honest and without fault ; I have 
advertised them and have invited them back, but they have not 

I keep a tavern and refectory ; Bologna sausages, crackers 
and cheese are freely exposed in the house ; they have always 
been at the command of the servants. Have been dealing with 
Mr. Henry Henderson ever since he commenced business, I be 
lieve about twenty years, until he quit business and sold out to 
Mr. Tyler, which is since the servants went away, I believe ; 
I then dealt with Mr. Holden, his clerk; I have still in use the 
crackers of Mr. Henderson. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. There are, I presume, a 
number of other places in town where Bologna sausages and 
crackers of the same kind are used ; the crackers I afterwards 
bought of Holden were marked with the name of Holden & Co. 
I think it was since the absenting of the slaves, that Mr. Hender 
son sold out. 

Charles Hockrotte, sworn. Between 9 and 10 o clock at night, 
in the latter part of May, about four or five days before the 
slaves went away, I saw a white man standing at the gate of 
our yard, talking to Judah Gooseberry; the white looked 
at me rather suspiciously, and went away, and Judah went in ; 
when I went in the house, Judah was nt there ; when I went in 


the yard Judah came out of the shed ; I asked her who it was 
she had been talking to. When I first saw the man I thought it 
was my brother-in-law, but upon going nearer to him, I saw it 
was not ; I think this, pointing to the traverser, is the man ; he 
is thinner now than he was then, and his whiskers are off; at 
the magistrate s office I picked him out ; I was told to look 
round ; there were about twenty or thirty people there. The 
man went away up street, as I came down to the gate. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Gallagher. I swear positively to the 
best of my knowledge and belief, this is the man ; did not say 
at the magistrate s that 1 could not swear positively to him. 

By Mr. Johnson. Have never noticed him in the street ; the 
gate of the yard is on Camden street ; Judah ran in as soon as 
she saw me ; she did nt see me till I turned towards the gate, 
and the man then turned away up the street ; he had on light 
pantaloons and light coat; I think he had a cap on; I did not 
speak to him ; when I went into the house, I did not say any 
thing to my father about it ; I thought the man had other inten 
tions than to persuade the servants away ; I told my father the 
night after they went away, that I thought that man had got them 
away; I had never seen a white man there under those circum 
stances before ; I have seen black men there ; the moon was 
not shining; it was a star light night. Before the magistrate, I 
swore that I positively believed Mr. Torrey to be the man ; I 
did not swear that he positively was the man. He was dressed 
then in dark coat and had a hat on ; he was dressed entirely 
different, of course. From the time I saw the man at the gate 
talking to Judah, I never saw Mr. Torrey till I saw him at the 
magistrate s ; between these times I suppose two or three weeks 
had elapsed. I suppose I saw him about two or three minutes at 
the gate ; when I went to the magistrate s office, I knew there 
was a man there charged with getting the slaves away ; 1 told 
father what his stature and appearance was ; I picked him out 
by his stature and face, and his dark hair; when I went into the 
house I saw Judah s mother; I asked her who it was Judah had 
been talking to ; the gate was on Camden street; I was coming 
down the street, and he turned up ; I suppose that Judah told 
him some one was corning, and he then walked up the street; 
if he had turned down the street I should not have been able to 
have seen him so well ; I should not have seen his face at all. 

By Mr. Cox. I do not remember to have seen you at the 
magistrate s office ; I don t recollect to have seen Mr. Torrey, 
and to have been asked if he was not the man ; I said it was a 


dark night, and said I meant by that, that it was a star light night ; 
I don t remember to have said there that I could not identify 
the man. 

Nicholas Woodward, sworn. I let a pair of cream-colored 
horses, with white manes and white tails, and a Rockaway car 
nage, to Mr. Torrey, on Tuesday, the 4th June ; he brought 
them back on the next Sunday, very much fatigued ; there was 
no driver sent with them ; they were so much fatigued that one 
of them died soon afterwards. He applied to me once before, 
and I let him have a carriage and a single horse, for some time ; 
I did not know any thing of him personally. When he came 
again I knew him ; I told him that the horse he had before had 
been driven very hard ; I then gave him a pair of dun ponies 
and the same carriage. He engaged them for no particular time ; 
I asked him where he was going, and he would give me no sat 
isfaction on that point. The horses would be easily recognized, 
from their peculiar color ; I have one of them now. 

George W. Rigdon, sworn. On the morning of the 7th June 
last, early, perhaps between 5 and 6 o clock, I was going to Mr. 
Clark s, my brother-in-law, over the bridge at Den creek, when 
I saw him standing in the road ; a carriage, open before and be 
hind, and two dun colored horses standing in the water, and a 
black boy washing their legs; over in the road I saw a white 
man washing his hands in a bucket; 1 was over them looking at 
them full ten minutes, and they did not see me for some time ; 
the horses were dun color, with white manes and tails ; thought 
it would be the death of them washing them in the state they 
were ; that man there ( pointing to traverserj is the man, and a 
black boy ; went to Mr. Clark s, up the road, and in about a half 
hour I came back ; saw the horses eating on the side of the 
creek ; the traverser was still there and the boy ; he was a 
light complected black boy, a sort of brown or chestnut ; he 
wore steel mixed pantaloons and roundabout. I thought some 
thing was wrong, and I took particular notice of them ; looked 
at the man as he turned round to look at me ; this is the same 
man ; I was in town the next Tuesday ; took some newspapers 
home, and the next day my brother was reading one of them ; 
he said here s an advertisement of some negroes lost, and on 
looking at it found it described the boy I had seen ; we conclu 
ded we ought to let the advertiser know of it ; wrote him a let 
ter ; witness recognized the advertisement (letter produced,) it 
was written by my brother ; this is the letter ; when I saw them 
the second time they were only about twenty steps from the 


place where they were when I first saw them ; 1 am certain this 
is the man ; when I went to the magistrate s office, I picked him 
out directly. 

By Mr. Johnson. The reason I did not write the letter, I was 
fixing to go to the Clay club ; I furnished the facts, and the let 
ter was read to me afterwards ; the place where I saw them is 
about thirty miles from Baltimore ; the road is pretty good ; I 
have stated that I thought I had seen the traverser before, at my 
uncle s, in 1832, at the time of the cholera ; that person staid at 
my uncle s, and went about gunning with the negroes ; his gen 
eral appearance was something the same as the traverser ; I did 
not get nearer to the man at the creek than the abutment of the 
bridge ; about ten feet off; I was about ten feet above him, he 
directly under me ; when I saw him again he was a little farther 
off, and was eating sausage and crackers ; he had on a blue coat 
and a cap ; don t remember his other clothes ; I stood looking 
at him about five or ten minutes that time, and when I went 
away, left them eating. 

Witness, to meet the request of counsel for a description of 
the location, sketched a diagram of the spot ; it represented the 
main road alone as crossing the creek at the point referred to ; 
the bridge is on the edge of the road, so that persons can go 
through the ford or over the bridge. 

Robert Rigdon, sworn. Lives in Harfbrd county, on the 
Peachbottom road ; the other side of Deer creek about a mile 
and a half; I m a blacksmith ; have a shop about half a mile 
from my house up the road ; on the 5th of June, in the morn 
ing, I saw a carriage going up with a couple of dun horses and 
white tails and manes; a white man was in it with a black wo 
man ; I was in my shop ; the carriage returned again in the 
evening late, towards Baltimore ; I saw the carriage again on 
the 7th June ; it had in it a white man and a black boy ; that is 
the white man, (the traverser) ; there were two black women 
in the carriage ; they were going along laughing ; the old wo 
man had a tooth out in front ; the other appeared about eigh 
teen or twenty ; the white man and boy sat in front ; I did not 
see the carriage again ; the traverser is that white man ; I pick 
ed him out at the magistrate s office. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. It was a little after sun 
rise when I saw them on the 5th ; my shop is, 1 take it, about 
twelve or fifteen miles from Peachbottom ; I did nt pay any at 
tention to the black woman in the carriage at the time ; she was 
sitting in the back part of the carriage ; my shop is thirty-two 


or thirty-three miles from Baltimore ; the carriage went down 
in the evening ; the black woman was not in it then ; my shop 
is about two and a half miles from the ford at Clark s ; I was in 
the road when the carriage went up and when it went down on 
the 5th. The reason I took more notice on the 7th of the party, 
was because I had heard some flying reports about a white man 
carrying negroes to Peachbottom, and sending them across ; I 
heard of it the day before ; my father was in the road with me 
on the 7th ; he spoke to the white man in the carriage, some 
thing about carrying off negroes ; I do tell the jury that as the 
carriage was trotting %, / saw that the old woman had a tooth out ; 
I noticed the girl s teeth ; did not notice the boy s ; the woman 
had nothing over her face ; the woman on the 5th had a green 
veil over her face ; the old woman on the 7th had a veil on her 
bonnet, but it was thrown aside ; my father and Mr. Raymons 
and myself were standing together when the carriage came 
along ; we could see it about thirty yards before it came up to 
us, and they could of course see us ; they had nothing over their 
faces ; it would be a good day s journey from Baltimore to my 
house ; when I saw the white man on the 5th he had a cap on, 
dark looking clothes ; on the 7th he was dressed the same way ; 
when I saw him at the magistrate s office he had a hat on and 
a different kind of coat ; it was a dark one. J think I said at 
the magistrate s office, that the old woman had a tooth out ; I 
don t think I was asked about it; Mr. Zell summoned me for 
the State ; I had seen no advertisement about the negroes ; I 
think he told rne that it was about some negroes taken away ; 
rny brother told me he was going to write to Baltimore about 
some negroes advertised ; I did not hear whose they were ; I did 
not know that there was such a man as Mr. Heckrotte in the 
city of Baltimore ; when J got to the magistrate s office I went 
into another room before 1 was examined ; Mr. Heckrotte and 
Mr. Rigdon, my uncle, Mr. Zell and some others went into the 
room with me ; Mr. Heckrotte there said something about his 
negroes; he said there were two women and a boy ; he said 
nothing about their ages, or their dress, or about one of the 
women having a tooth out ; my uncle George said something 
about them ; I don t recollect whether he said any thing about 
one of the women having a tooth out or not ; I don t recollect 
whether or not I said any thing to any body about the woman 
having a tooth out ; I saw my uncle Ben one day when he stop 
ped at my shop and asked me something about the negroes; I 
don t know whether J said any thing to him about a tooth out ; 


he might have have said something about writing a letter, but I 
was so angry about having to leave my work, that I don t know 
hardly what passed. 

By Mr. Cox. I was in Baltimore last Monday ; I don t know 
whether I said, I had come to Baltimore to help to send that 
d d rascal to the penitentiary, or not ; I don t know that Mr. 
George Rigdon said so ; I don t know whether I said it or not ; 
I say many things in fun. 

George Amos, sworn. Lives on the Peachbottorn and Balti 
more road, about four miles above Deer creek ; somewhere 
about the first part of last June I saw an open carriage, four- 
wheeled, I think, with two dun-colored horses and white manes 
and tails ; a white man, looked a good deal like the traverser, 
and dark brown boy sitting in front, about sixteen or seventeen 
years of age ; there were two women sitting behind ; one was 
a young girl, a jet black ; I saw the white man before, about the 
26th of May, on the road, going up in a carriage ; he had a 
black boy and a yellow man with him ; he had a carriage and 
one horse ; the next time I saw him he was going down with a 
carriage and two horses ; on the next day 1 saw him going up 
with the same carriage and horses, and the two women and boy ; 
I think the traverser is the man ; I can t say positively. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson.- When J saw him going up 
with the boy and two women, the women were sitting on the 
back seat ; the one I saw was a young woman, jet black ; 
they were travelling slowly ; I did not see the other woman s 
face at all ; for all I know, she was white. I should think it would 
take two days to go from my house to Baltimore ; it is about 
thirty-five miles ; it takes me a day to come to Baltimore. It 
was the second day after I saw him going up with the two horses 
that I saw him come down the road. 

Benjamin Amos, sworn. On the 5th June I saw a carriage 
(described as before) this side of Rockridge, coming towards 
Baltimore ; it was about a mile the other side of Deer creek ; 
the next time I saw it was on Friday the 8th ; I was with Mr. 
Samuel Rigdon ; he said, " There comes the carriage again ; let s 
stop him." I said, " We had better not, for such fellows always 
go armed." Mr. Rigdon talked to him about a black woman 
that he had taken up a day or two before ; there was a black boy 
and two black women in the carriage ; the white man was a 
small man, dressed in a dark coat, and cap on ; I think this is 
the man (the traverser). It was the same person coming down 
on the evening of the 5th that I saw going up on the morning 


of the 7th. He had black whiskers then. The next morning, 
Saturday, he came down with the same horses and carriage 
with him; he came down on the other road ; the road forks 
above my house. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. On the morning of the 7th 
I was standing at Robert Rigdon s shop ; Samuel Itigdon was 
there when the carriage came along ; the black boy was pretty 
stout across the shoulders ; he had on steel mixed clothes, and 
I don t know how the women were dressed. They were going 
along at a walk ; the horses looked pretty hard drove ; they 
did not stop when Samuel Rigdon spoke to them ; I can t say 
that this (the traverser) is the man ; he had heavy whiskers then, 
if he is the man. If this is the man, I have not seen him from 
that time till to-day. I was not before the magistrate ; was first 
summoned yesterday. I heard, when I got here, that Torrey 
was the man charged. 

Samuel Scarf, sworn. Lives about three-fourths of a mile be 
yond Deer creek ; on Saturday morning, 8th June. I saw a man 
with an open carriage and two cream-colored horses, come down 
the road ; the man had on a cap, and whiskers, and dark-colored 
clothes ; the traverser looks like him ; more like him than any 
man I ve seen since. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I had never seen him be 
fore that day; nor since, till the other day in court. I did not 
speak to him ; he was trotting down a hill when I saw him ; I 
only saw him just as he passed along by ; when I saw him in 
court it was in the prisoner s box; he came up to the bars; I 
thought, then, it was the man ; I heard that Torrey was charged. 

Henry Bishop. Keeps a tavern on the Bel Air road, ten miles 
from Baltimore. A gentleman stopped at my house all night, 
who came there on Saturday evening, some time in June ; he 
had a family carriage, open behind and front ; two cream-colored 
horses, flax rnane and tail ; this is the man (the traverser) ; he 
staid all night ; he had whiskers then, I think ; I have no doubt 
this is the man. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I did not see the carriage 
go up the road ; there was no one with him when he came to 
my house; I do not recollect his clothes; he wore a cap; he 
had whiskers, I think; not very large. 

Ezekiel Burke, sworn. I went up to Bishop s some time in 
the first of June, to see my relations, one Sunday ; I was about 
a quarter of a mile from Bishop s and remarked, " There s a 
pair of horses I drove last Sunday ; they are Woodward s." 


When I got up there, I saw that one of them was likely to fall 
down ; this is the man (the traverser) who came out and drove 
them off. Before he went, I said to him he would never drive 
them to Baltimore ; if he did, he d kill that horse ; I asked him 
where he had been, but he gave no satisfaction. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I saw him next in Balti 
more, at Mrs. Kunsrnan s, in Old Town ; I happened in there; 
when I saw him at Bishop s, he said the lame horse had stum 
bled against a rock and hurt himself; he drove off, whipping 
the horses. 

Samuel F. Rigdon, sworn. Lives in Harford county, beyond 
Deer creek, on the south side of Rockridge ; I saw, on the 5th 
of June, a carriage, open in front, and two cream-colored horses, 
coming from Peachbottom towards Baltimore ; there was a white 
man driving it ; nobody else with him ; on the 7th saw the car 
riage corning down ; I was at Robert Rigdon s ; I said we ought 
to apprehend that fellow, but Robert said that most likely he 
carried arms, and we had better not arrest him ; I said I d give 
him a little of my tongue, anyhow. When they came opposite 
me, I halloes to him and says, " You ve got a whole family of 
them, this time." They laughed and drove on slowly ; as they 
laughed, the old woman showed a tooth lacking, on the side of 
Irer mouth ; I noticed it particularly ; the other woman and boy 
were youngish ; the women had on dark dresses, and the boy 
a steel-mixed roundabout ; the man was dressed in dark clothes ; 
he had whiskers and wore a cap ; there sits the gentleman ; 
he s the same identical man, only he s got his whiskers off, and 
had a cap on. 

In the same afternoon, I went down to my brother-in-law s; 
and going through by the ford at the bridge, I found a place 
where some creatures had been eating ofFof the face of the earth ; 
I mean horses or something that eats oats; and a little distance 
off, near the wood, I found some fragments of Bologna sausages 
and some crackers marked " II. H.," and took them home to a 
little pet boy ; on looking round me there awhile, I found some 
bits of ribbon, and took them home to a little daughter I have ; 
(the pieces of ribbon produced by witness;) on Saturday morn 
ing I went down to Clark s, to ask leave to cut a tree, to hive 
some bees, and then I saw the same carriage come down, with 
the white man in it, empty. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I found, near the place 
where the oats were, some bits of crackers, and one whole one, 
which I gave to the child ; I have not got half the bits of ribbon ; 


my little daughter would not accept them, and then I put them 
in my pocket ; nohody dares go to my pockets without my con 
sent; I put them in my pocket because I thought they might do 
for some little use for my rheumatism in wet weather; I ll tell 
you, Mr. Johnson, why I think so much of them little children ; 
their mother, my daughter, gave them to me on her death-bed, 
sir. When the carriage passed me on Friday, I was on the left 
side of the carriage, the old woman was on the right side, and 
when she laughed, I saw the tooth was out ; it was out of the 
upper jaw ; about her eye-tooth ; a little to the left side of the 
front; the old woman had a bonnet on and a veil over it, not 
over her face ; they had on a sort of mourning clothes ; the 
other woman had a black veil ; both appeared to be in mourn 
ing for some particular friend ; saw no baggage at all ; no man 
could have a better view of the man than I did ; when he came 
along on Wednesday evening, we were putting some dust on 
the bridge and levelling it, and I asked him to stop lest his crea 
tures should be hurt; and Sammy Maccabee and my son got 
talking to him about the crops, arid so forth. 

Mr. Johnson. This was on the 5th ? 

Witness. No sir, it was on the upper side of Rockridge. 
[A burst of laughter.] 

Resumed. We didn t stop him then, because it s rather an 
awkward business to arrest a man. I thought if I did, I might 
be sued for a breach of trust, or something. I have seen this 
same man go up and down the road often, with other horses ; 
I saw him once last November; he was dressed then in fall 
clothing ; the color would about pass for blue. 

By Mr. Cox. When I found the ribbon, it was at the time 
of year when we generally have pleasant weather. I went a 
near cut through the woods by a foot-path. I had on this coat 
that day ; I calculated to be out after night, to take a little spell 
a fishing. 

By a juror. On the 7th, when I saw the horses, they were 
jaded down. 

By Mr. Johnson. They were not sweating; they were almost, 
got beyond a sweat ; I mean by that, that they were so jaded 
that they couldn t travel fast enough to sweat. 

Charles Heckrotte, sworn. About three or four weeks previ 
ous, rny sister had trimmed Judah s bonnet with some ribbon 
from her bonnet ; I can swear that these pieces are some of the 
same ribbon ; there was not quite enough, and another piece 
almost like it was got to make it out. [Witness produced a piece 


whsch, when compared, corresponded with a portion of the 
pieces found.] 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I believe Judah had more 
than one bonnet; it was a straw bonnet, that had been dressed 
in black before this ribbon was put on. Her mother had a straw 
bonnet. I took particular notice of the ribbon. [Here a rigid 
cross-examination of the witness was conducted by Mr. John 
son, with reference to the ribbon, but without eliciting any im 
portant fact, except, peihaps, for the argument.] At its conclu 
sion, the court adjourned until ten o clock to-morrow morning. 

Saiurdny, Nov. 30, 1844. 

Mrs. Morling, sworn. Stated that some time before the ser 
vants of Mr. Heckrotte went away, she trimmed Judah s bonnet 
with some ribbon that had been on her child s bonnet; there 
was not quite enough, and she had to take some from another 
piece, not exactly like the other ; a portion of which she now 
produced. It had been taken from her own bonnet ; it was com 
pared with the pieces found, and corresponded with them, with 
the exception of some difference in the color of a stripe, which 
in that produced was green, in the piece of the same pattern 
found was yellow, the suggestion being that it faded to yellow 
from exposure. 

The cross-examination of the witness elicited nothing varying 
from the examination in chief. 

The State cabled Thomas Southmayd, who appeared upon the 
staii l. Mr. Johnson produced a record of the proceedings of 
the Criminal Court of New York, in proof that this witness had 
been convicted therein of horse-stealing, and had served a pe 
riod of three years in the penitentiary for this offence ; a fact 
which the witness admitted. Some discussion then took place 
between Messrs. Johnson and Richardson on the admissibility 
of the evidence of this witness, which was decided by the court 
in favor of it. The examination then proceeded, Mr. Johnson 
first obtaining from Mr. Metcalfe, clerk of the court, two indict 
ments against Southmayd : one for stealing a horse, and the 
other for stealing a sleigh in this city, and on which he is now 
awaiting his trial in jail. 

Thomas Southmayd, sworn. Had a conversation with Mr. 
Torrey in jail, about the charge against him; he told me about 
it while lie was trying to escape. He told me he had taken away 
Mr. Heckrotte*t slaves, and said he had also taken away a good 
many slaves from Harford county ; he also said he had taken a 
number of slaves from this State ; he said he had directed them 


to come to a house at the back of Greenmount cemetery, and 
there he would meet them and take them to Pennsylvania ; he 
said they had been very faithful servants ; he told me that 
there was an old negro named Nick, near Greenmount ceme 
tery, who assisted him ; he said he had had great difficulty in 
persuading the slaves of Mr. Heckrotte to run away ; he had 
to persuade the old woman two or three times; he threatened 
to blow Mr. Heckrotte s brains out if ever he got out; he has 
also threatened the keepers lives. 

A letter was produced by Mr. Richardson, which witness 
identified as one he sent to Mr. Heckrotte. The letter was read 
by Mr. Richardson, as follows: 

Baltimore, Oct. 1(>, 1844. 

Dear Sir : As you requested me to give you a statement in re 
gard to what Mr. Torrey told me concerning your negroes, I 
shall begin at the beginning. In speaking about the starting place, 
he told me that back of Greenmount cemetery burying-ground 
was the starting place; there is a negro there that is unpleased 
with him, which is a blacksmith. I have often heard Torrey 
speak of him about his being a confidential old fellow, that he 
could trust him with any secret; he also told me that he was 
seen at Deer creek, a washing his horse ; he also related to me 
about being arrested somewhere near Peachbottom, where he 
had a pair of pistols taken from him, and kept; his pocket-book 
was taken from him also, and given back ; he also told me that 
he did take three slaves from you ; I recollect his telling, in par 
ticular, about an old woman, as he said you called her, and two 
others ; he told me that he had persuaded her two or three times 
before he could get her away ; he told me that your slaves were 
taken to Philadelphia and sent from there to New York ; he also 
told me that he gave directions to Kemp and his party which 
way to go ; Fie told me that they went on to New York ; he also 
told rne who his agent was, but 1 cannot recollect exactly what 
his name was, but think his name was Hall ; he also told me 
about taking eight or nine from one man, but cannot recollect the 
man ; he also told me that he took three slaves from one Mr. 
Patterson ; he told me that he had taken so many away from this 
State that he could not tell how many he had taken ; he also 
told me that if he got out he would have more out of this State 
than ever had been taken. 

Mr. Htckrotle, Baltimore. 

Cross-examined by Mr. Johnson. I came in jail because the 
constable put me there; I was charged with an offence. 


Mr. Johnson asked, what offence? 

Mr. Richardson objected to the question. 

Mr. Johnson stated to the court that his object was to show to 
the jury, if he could, that this man expected to be benefited ac 
cording to the testimony he gave in this case, by a pardon. 

Mr. Richardson said, if that was the object he should with 
draw his objection. 

The defence was here shown by the indictments against him. 

Hatch is my true name ; I have gone by the name of Wilson ; 
I had been confined in the room with Torrey before he attempted 
to break out, better than a month ; he made this confession to me 
after he had determined to escape ; before that, he said nothing 
about it; I think there were eight in the room altogether; their 
names, as far as I know, were Stewart, Davis, James Murphy, 
Robert Gamble, Holmes, Torrey ; they did not hear it ; he told it 
secretly to me ; lie did not put confidence in the others ; I did 
not know him before I was in jail ; I suppose he knew what I 
was there for, by the newspapers; I don t know the size of the 
room exactly ; speaking as I am speaking now, I could be heard 
all over the room; I did not say anything about it to the other 
prisoners ; I didn t see proper ; I told it afterwards because cir 
cumstances alter cases ; the time hadn t come ; it has come now ; 
I have told it before, to Mr. Heckrotte ; I sent for him when Tor 
rey was going to escape ; if there had been a chance, I think it 
likely I should have gone too; he did not tell me till about a 
week or ten days before the attempt to escape ; I did not send 
for Mr. Heckrotte till that attempt was frustrated ; I thought I 
was hi duty bound to tell Mr. Heckrotte then ; Mr. Zell carne 
with Mr. Heckrotte; Mr. Zell was not in the room when I told 
Heckrotte; I told Mr. Patterson about it; I was promised no 
thing in my own case if I told it; I did it voluntarily; after I 
told Heckrotte, I had some conversations with the other priso 
ners ; Davis was there and heard what I told Heckrotte ; I can t 
tell what Torrey s reasons were for telling me ; he said he ex 
pected to get clear without difficulty ; he said the pistols were to 
be brought by his landlady ; I had nothing to do with the pistols 
or powder; I assisted Torrey to get one man out, to help him 
out afterwards ; 1 gave my note for $20, and Klein and Torrey 
gave him $30 to get out and to go Holmes security, who was to 
help Torrey out ; I did not sign the note I sent to Mr. Heckrotte ; 
I sent it by one of the keepers ; I think Torrey furnished me with 
the paper; he gave me several sheets; I think he gave me the 
pen and ink ; Torrey was in another cell ; Davis tied a stick to 


a string and hove it along to Torrey s window ; he tied up the 
paper, ink and pen in a handkerchief, and Davis pulled it back ; 
I don t know how I sent the ink back ; perhaps I gave it to one 
of the keepers ; it might have been sent back the same way it 
was brought ; I had it two or three days. 

By Mr. Richardson. I think Mr. Heckrotte came the next day 
after I wrote a note to him ; I had never heard any one speak of 
Mr. Torrey s offence but himself; Holmes got out of jail about 
one or two days after the arrangement was made ; Holmes was 
to go to Philadelphia and get tools ; he did so ; Mr. Torrey told 
me so ; the tools were brought in by Mr. Torrey s landlady ; I 
saw her when she took them out of her bosom wrapped up in 
a piece of brown paper; Torrey wore whiskers in jail; he 
shaved them off lately; perhaps three or four weeks ago. 

Mr. Heckrotte recalled. I went to see Southmayd in conse 
quence of Mr. Zell calling on me and telling me if 1 went to the 
jail I could learn something about my negroes from a prisoner 
named Southmayd ; I went there and saw him, and he commu 
nicated the facts ; I afterwards sent him word to put them in 
writing ; he told me they had been secreted in a house back of 
Greenmount; that that was Torrey s general place of deposit; 
he said that Torrey had got them to Pennsylvania in the neigh 
borhood of Peachbottom, and then they were sent to Philadel 
phia and thence to New York, to Church street, I believe he said. 
I conversed with Southmayd on the back porch of the jail, 
where one of the wardens brought him to me; I afterwards 
went out with Mr. Patterson, and I believe he had some conver 
sation with Southmayd. 

Warden Graham, sworn. When Torrey came to jail he wore 
whiskers ; he shaved them off I think about five or six weeks 

By Mr. Johnson. They were thin black whiskers, passing un 
der the chin. 

The State here closed the case on the part of the prosecution, 
and the defence called up 

Capt. Wise, sworn. lias known Southmayd about seven 
years; he sailed in a ship with me about two years; from my 
knowledge of his character, I would not believe him on his oath ; 
he went by the name of Thomas B. Hatch. 

By Mr. Richardson. I have never heard any one speak par 
ticularly of his character for veracity; I have heard of his gene 
ral character. Mr. Richardson urged, upon this statement, that 
the individual opinion of this witness was not evidence. 


Mr. Johnson contended that if it was proved that the general 
character of the man was so had that the witness would not be 
lieve him on his oath, the evidence was admissible. If the man s 
general character was universally bad, no man would suspect 
him of the peculiar virtue of veracity. 

The court expressed an opinion that the evidence must be 
confined to the general character for veracity. 

Mir. Johnson prayed the court to allow him to look to the au 
thority on the subject. He then quoted from Phillip, page 291, 
the opinion of Justice Buller, that there were two ways of im 
peaching the credibility of a witness, one of which is by proving 
that his general reputation is so bad that he would not be be 
lieved on oath. 

The court stated that it had always required the examination 
of a counter witness to be confined to veracity, and should do so 
in this instance. 

Mr. Johnson continued the examination. I have heard per 
sons say they wouldn t believe him. 

By Mr. Richardson. I don t know that I said I had never 
heard his character for veracity spoken of. 

Justice Gray, sworn. Is a magistrate ; there are two rooms in 
my office ; the witnesses came into the front room before the time 
ruled for trial, and were conducted into the back office ; they 
were witnesses also in a civil case against Torrey at the suit of 
Woodward ; the Rigdon s were there ; the examination in the 
criminal charge was conducted by Messrs. Cox and Gallagher; 
Mr. Torrey stood near me some time, and afterwards sat down 
just below me; when young Heckrotte came in, he was asked 
if he could recognize the person he had seen at his father s gate ; 
he said it was dark and he didn t know that he could identify him ; 
he was told to look round the office, and finally pointed to Mr. 
Torrey and said, " I think that is the man." 

Mr. Cox, sworn. I was counsel with Mr. Gallagher, employed 
by Mr. Torrey to defend him in a civil suit ; my recollection of 
the proceedings are the same as those of Mr. Gray, with the 
exception of the position of Mr. Torrey, who stood by the side 
of Mr. Gallagher, and was continually conversing with him ; my 
recollection of young Heckrotte s identification is distinct; he 
said it was a dark night, and lie could not say positively who was 
the man ; I was about to cross-examine him, when Mr. Collins, 
who was engaged by Mr. Woodward in the civil suit, remarked 
that that was not necessary, inasmuch as the young man had 
failed to identify him. 


Robert Gamble, sworn. Was in the room where Torrey was 
confined ; there were six beside myself; Southma^d took a part 
in trying to get out ; has had the saw and worked with it. 

By Mr. Richardson. I can t say where the saw came from, 
it was there when 1 was put there ; I was in the room when 
they were attempting to get out ; it was in the daytime ; I did 
not assist ; there were five of them who worked at it. 

Warden Graham recalled. On the morning we discovered 
the attempt to break out, we removed the prisoners, and whilst 
1 was ironing Mr. Torrey, he said he was sorry for the others in 
the room if they were to suffer, as he had been the sole origi 
nator and instigator of the attempt to escape ; he spoke partic 
ularly of Southmayd, who he said had had nothing at all to do 
with it. 

Simeon Hays, sworn. I saw a letter from Rigdon to Mr. 
Heckrotte, in relation to his negroes ; he showed it to me ; I 
don t recollect having received any letter in relation to it ; I 
think I saw one or two that Mr. Heckrotte received. I think it 
must have been about a month after I saw the letter that Tor 
rey was arrested ; I am not certain ; within two weeks probably. 

John Zell, sworn. I saw a letter from Mr. Rigdon, brought 
to the office J3y Mr. Heckrotte; I am certain we never received 
a letter ourselves on the subject ; I went to the prison to see 
Southmayd, who sent forme, to tell me something about Mr. 
Heckrotte s negroes ; I called on Mr. Heckrotte, and we went 
together; we had Southmayd arid a boy named Davis brought 
out, the message stating that both had something to communi 
cate ; I talked to Davis on the porch, and Mr. Heckrotte talked 
to Southmayd; I could not hear what they said ; I went there 
once afterwards with Mr. Heckrotte, but said nothing to South 
mayd ; I have no knowledge of any inducements held out to 
Southmayd, of my own ; Mr. Heckrotte told me that he had 
promised to use some influence for him ; I heard Mr. Heckrotte 
tell Southmayd in my presence, that he would use his exertions 
to get him a pardon, if he came out candidly ; did not know if 
he could succeed. 

By Mr. Richardson. I saw Southmayd when he sent for me, 
alone, and Southmayd began to make some disclosures, and I 
stopped him ; I told him I did not want to hear any thing about 
it; if he had any thing to tell, he had better tell Mr. Heckrotte ; 
I think it was upon the second visit that Mr. Heckrotte told 
Southmayd that lie would use his exertions in his behalf; I 
could not hear what Mr. Heckrotte had said before to him. 


Mr. Ileckrotte, recalled. I don t remember making any di 
rect promises to Southmayd ; I told him I was a whig, and had 
no influence with the present Governor; but what I could do for 
him I would ; this was after the first interview before he made 
the written communication. 

By Mr. Johnson. My promise to use my influence was not 
to take effect until after he had given his testimony. 

The defence was closed at this point, and Mr. Richardson 
arose and addressed the jury ; he went briefly over the leading 
facts elicited during the examination, and left the case to the 
counsel for defence, with the remark, that upon such testimony 
they must either find the traverser guilty, or erase from the 
statute hook the enactment under which he was indicted. 

Mr. Cox followed, and observed that, until that morning, he 
had not been aware that it would have been a part of his duty to 
address the jury ; he proceeded, however, with an animated 
and eloquent appeal in behalf of his client, and evidently suc 
ceeded in gaining the attention, and enlisting the interest of the 
multitude without the jury box, whatever might have been the 
effect of his remarks within it. He touched briefly on some 
points of the testimony, and concluded with an expression of 
his satisfaction that the argument would be continued by the dis 
tinguished and learned counsel engaged in the cause. 

The court now took a recess for an hour. 


On the assembling of the court in the afternoon, Mr. Johnson 
proceeded with the argument before the jury, and but that the 
limits of our space in these columns restrained our hand, we 
should have followed him throughout his powerful, eloquent, 
noble vindications of his client, the analysis of the evidence in 
clusive. We, however, confine ourselves to a brief notice of 
the magnificent exordium with which he held the immense 
multitude, which crowded to overflow the spacious court room, 
spell bound, in breathless silence. 

He commenced with an allusion to the institution of slavery, 
and with a strong, though carefully guarded language, drew the 
distinction between its moral and legal existence. He referred 
to it as the dreaded cause of civil strife, its agitation the fre 
quent cause of servile war. He deprecated with fervent energy, 
such a consequence as tending to that most fearful result, to 
blot from the world the choicest freedom that Divine Providence, 


in its infinite goodness, has ever vouchsafed to man. He had 
his peculiar opinions of the institution of slavery, which it did 
not hecome him to speak of here as a citizen of Maryland. As 
a mere subject of political economy, as a matter of dollars 
and cents, Maryland would be infinitely richer if the whole sys 
tem of slavery could be brought rightfully to an end. Right 
fully he said. To be done with the law, and not against the law 
to be done openly and not secretly ; not in such a way as to 
light the torch of the incendiary not in such a way as to de 
stroy property but to preserve it. 

When the traverser, whose opinions on this subject have 
never been kept secret, applied to me, said Mr. Johnson, to act 
as his counsel in this case, I made up my mind at once to ren 
der him all the aid that I could render him, under a fixed and 
settled purpose, to express no opinion, to declare no sentiment, 
even in the excitement of the forensic contest that might in any 
way hazard the peace of our common State. 1 felt a natural, an 
earnest solicitude that he should have a fair and impartial trial. 
As far as I know, as the functions of this tribunal could extend, 
this honorable court, and its officers, he would have it. But in 
the department which you occupy, I felt there might be dan 
ger. The very atmosphere was rife with personal prejudices. 
It was not only that one of the institutions of our State was sup 
posed to have been assailed and violated by this man, but that 
the very cause in which he had assailed it, had loomed so large 
in that portion of our country from which he was supposed to 
have come, that it had become an integral political subject, by 
which our country was to be agitated for evil or for good. It 
had been inculcated into the political world in such a form, and 
with such vigorous assiduity, as to threaten the dissolution of this 
our blessed Union. And the fact which had fastened itself upon my 
own mind, I knew might find access to the minds of others, 
and thus go with the juror into that box, and without his know 
ing it, to influence his decision. 

Mr. Torrey was not unknown in the State of Maryland. I 
knew that it was generally known, that at an assembly of our 
fellow-citizens called a * Slaveholders Convention, held some 
time since at Annapolis, he had been present, in what I 
thought then, and still think the admitted right of a reporter 
for some northern prints, he had been seized and incarcerated 
but finally liberated under the wholesome and without which 
we should all be slaves writ of habeas corpus. He was liber 
ated and went away, but he left his name behind, and prejudice 


had fastened upon it as a fit subject for animadversion ; while 
the public mind was agitated to frenzy by what was thought to 
be an unjustifiable and unpardonable interference with the pro 
ceedings. Thus exposed to animadversion, to denunciation and 
reproach, I could not be blind to what I supposed would be his 
fate. I felt that there was every probability that he might come 
before this tribunal under these influences without, rather like 
a victim bound for the sacrifice, than like a free man to be tried 
by the laws of his country. And if I may be permitted to say 
a word of a personal character, I engaged in his cause, prompt 
ed by the emotions springing from this view of his position, 
without expectation of any other compensation than a sense of 
duty affords seeing to his abject poverty I may say hopeless 
poverty, I could not do less than this. Since then I have had 
other persuasive influences he has a wife and children. A 
proper sense of delicacy forbids me to speak as I would, for that 
wife is now within the sound of my voice ; but this 1 may say 
in all the mental accomplishments with which woman can 
be endowed, in all the loveliness of moral character for which 
her sex in its greatest perfection is noted, she can compare, and 
compare well, with any other woman within the limits of our 
country. She has come here to witness the trial of this husband 
in whom all her affections are centered. She has come to be 
present at the probable adverse termination of this trial. She 
has come if such should be the law and the evidence to see 
him the last time before he is incarcerated within the walls of a 
prison a fate which will forbid an interview for years. But 
she has come with all the affections of woman s heart, burning 
within her bosom, and though adverse his fate, those affections 
will go with him to his prison be with him for his consolation 
they will follow and cling to him there through the long and 
distressing years he may be doomed to pass, and in her prayers 
will watch over him every hour; and she will inculcate in her 
children, while their father is toiling out the penalty he has in 
curred, the fact, that however guilty he may be deemed of vio 
lating the laws of man, he did it under the strong and imperious 
conviction, that there was another law controlling him and all 
our institutions, having its immediate emanation from God re 
quiring at his hands a duty which he could not refuse to per 
form. And should Heaven suffer him to live out the years of 
his incarceration, he will return to his wife, his children, his 
friends, distinguished and numerous as they are, with no moral 



stain upon his name, with every moral attribute of his nature 
untouched, to carry out the purpose of his life and vocation. 

Mr. Torrey, gentlemen, is not an ordinary culprit or to speak 
what I intended he is no ordinary rnan to be arraigned as a 
culprit. A graduate with honor in one of the first Universities 
in the land, his life was devoted peculiarly devoted to the 
study of Heaven s law, and he became a minister of the gospel 
at a very youthful age a quite distinguished eminence in that 
great great in revolutionary reminiscences great in all the 
historical and patriotic associations of our country the com 
monwealth of Massachusetts. It was his to labor in the holiest 
cause to which man can be devoted; not only to inform the ig 
norant, but to strengthen the hopes of the believer, to assail the 
thoughtless and indifferent, and to win them from the ways of 
sin. He stood irreproachable in his calling, and until this ques 
tion of abolition became one of the leading questions of the 
North, the breath of suspicion never fell upon the man. Here 
he is, gentlemen, relying upon his advocates to get him clear if 
we can, of the charge for which he is indicted ; or if not, to bear 
willing testimony for him, that whatever the crime may be if 
committed and crime it may be called, so far as moral wrong 
may be in the commission of that crime, he stands unspotted 
now in the eyes of man and of God. 

I have one other remark to make, gentlemen, in this part of 
my subject. I know, and have reason to know, that there is an 
anxiety relating to the result of this trial, not confined to our un 
fortunate client, his relatives or friends, but extending through 
out our common Union. Not confined to that part of our coun 
try, which would seek to make the subject of abolition a political 
element, and to be prosecuted to extremity without regard to 
consequences, but throughout all sections and divisions of the 
land; and throughout all I have seen, that if the proceedings in 
this trial should be published, and I observe that they are about 
to be published, our brethren will see that another man, no 
matter how deeply he may be steeped in abolition faith, no mat 
ter how great may be the excitement against him in the public 
mind, is, in Maryland, slave State as she is, he will not only have 
the ablest counsel, but is actually certain that his case will be 
fairly tried by impartial men. And I say, in the presence of this 
traverser and the friends by whom he is surrounded, that so far 
as the law arid the evidence are concerned, this trial has been as 
fair and impartial as human frailty can make it. 


But, gentlemen, in order to vouch for this fact to all who may 
sympathize with this traverser, (and they are not confined to citi 
zens of Pennsylvania, New York or the Eastern States, but in 
Ohio, Indiana, and sure to be found from the very nature of our 
being, wherever human freedom exists unalloyed by human sla 
very,) it is all-important that no conviction should be had, except 
upon evidence where there is no doubt of the guilt. You are not 
to be blind to the condition of the country; you are not to be 
deaf to the dangers with which we are surrounded and I am 
sure you have felt that upon this question of domestic slavery, 
sooner or later, is to be fought that battle which is to determine 
whether this Union is to exist, or not. It is my wish, my ear 
nest desire, that it should be fought by moral force ; I wish to 
keep out of it the physical energies of mankind ; to avoid the 
shedding by brothers of brothers blood. It is our duty, then, 
in this State at least, that we may act our part as conservators 
of the peace of the Union, to let no abolitionist be punished, ex 
cept upon such evidence as will leave no room for doubt. Once 
have it understood among our Northern brethren, that to be ac 
cused in a slave State is to be convicted, to excite prejudices an 
invariable result of accusation, and the death-warrant of the Union 
is from that day signed. For notwithstanding all we may say 
of it, from the time of our first Union the principle had become 
very universally admitted, that property in man had no existence 
except in the laws of man, and while they are acting out this 
principle, the only moral persuasion which can address itself to 
our Northern brethren, is to show them that we so far respect 
their views and sentiments with regard to us. as to assure them 
that they are in no danger of punishment except on such evi 
dence as can leave no rational doubt in the minds of a jury. 
Now, gentlemen, let us see if that is the case here. 

I am not here to ask you to erase from the statute book any of 
its enactments, as the learned prosecutor has said you must do, 
before you can acquit tins man. If it were necessary I should 
be here to maintain it. That enactment is relative to an institu 
tion peculiar to our State ; it is a matter of our domestic concern; 
it is placed beyond the reach of any exterior power. I am not 
here, then, to question either its legality or sanctity, if I may so 
express myself. 

Gentlemen, in the verdict which you will pronounce in rela 
tion to this man, you will not, I am sure, desire to go beyond 
the letter and the provisions of this act, under which he is in 
dicted. It is an act of 1827, ch. 15, and the first section. Novr 


what does it say? "If any free person shall entice, persuade or 
assist any slave or servant, knowing him or her to he such, to 
run away from his or her lawful owner, or shall harbor, etc., 
then such person shall be indicted in the county court of such 
county in which the offence shall he committed, or in Baltimore 
city court" now mark, gentlemen " if such offence shall be 
committed in Baltimore city." 

Now what becomes of the case ? Now what is the use of all 
the evidence we have relative to the Harford road ? What if 
Mr. Torrey is enticing, persuading and assisting these negroes 
to run away at Peachbottom, at Deer creek, or anywhere else 
up there ; you may indict him if you like in Harford county, 
but convict him in Baltimore city court you can t, for an offence 
committed at Deer creek, under this act, and with this indict 

Mr. Johnson then proceeded to speak of the two witnesses on 
whose testimony the State must rest to prove the offence within 
the limits of the city of Baltimore, Charles Heckrotte and Thomas 
South mayd. Previously, however, he reviewed, at considerable 
length, the other evidence in the case, illustrating the fact that, 
although Mr. Heckrotte s negroes disappeared on the evening of 
the 4th of June, between eight and nine o clock, Torrey is seen, 
on the morning of the 5th, above Deer creek, driving a one-horse 
carriage, in which is a negro woman, confessedly not one of 
Heckrotte s. He asked, where were Heckrotte s negroes then ? 
Torrey a day s journey from Baltimore, the next morning after 
they leave their master s protection, travelling with another wo 
man. If they left the city and met him in Harford county, he 
certainly is not guilty of having persuaded, enticed or assisted 
them in the city, and unless you believe this you cannot convict 
him. Mr. Johnson thoroughly argued this portion of the evidence ; 
visited Deer creek, took up the crackers and Bologna sausages, 
the description of the negroes given by Samuel Rigdon, exhibited 
in connection with the fact that he had seen the full description 
published in the Sun by Mr. Heckrotte. He followed the wit 
nesses through their varying description* of Torrey, and quoted 
from the letter of Robert Rigdon to Mr. Heckrotte, in which he 
describes the driver of the carriage as a " dark cornplexioned 
man, high nose, small round whiskers, forbidding appearance, 
and a Yankee-looking fellow." Mr. Johnson proceeded to the 
identity of the negroes, contending that it was vague and indefi 
nite, and not entitled to credit ; one witness only professing to 
discover a tooth gone, and in that particular to a fault, designat- 


ing it as an eye-tooth, after the mere glance of the party passing 
him. The whole testimony was elaborately reviewed, fact by fact, 
and finally that of Charles Heckrotte and Southmayd assailed 
with a degree of energy and analytical skill that seemed resolved 
to destroy. The gentle/nan concluded after having spoken two 
hours and three quarters. 

The court adjourned until Monday morning at ten o clock.* 

Monday, Dec. 2, 1844. 

The hall of the court house was quite thronged this morning 
previous to the opening of the doors of the court room, so in 
tense had become the popular desire to hear the closing argu 
ment of the distinguished gentleman who represents the State 
in this prosecution. Within two minutes alter the doors were 
opened, the court room was thronged in ever} 7 part A glance 
at the multitude was sufficient to satisfy the eye that it was com 
posed of the most respectable of our fellow citizens. We ob 
served a number of the clergymen of cur city, many of the 
merchants and gentlemen of every profession, and the interest 
which they felt in the case was emphatically expressed in the 
unbroken silence which was observed throughout the period of 
nearly two hours, which was occupied by Mr. Richardson in his 
address to the jury. 

Among other distinguished gentlemen present, we observed 
upon the bench, somewhat excluded by others in front, the Hon. 
Mr. Pratt, Governor elect of Maryland. 

As soon as the Chief Judge hail taken his seat, at about ten 
minutes after ten o clock, Mr. Richardson rose and spoke to the 
following pur|K>rt : 

Gentlemen of the Jury, the argument which I propose to sub 
mit to you this morning,will be confined entirely to the case which 
is presented by the evidence and the law relating thereto. It is no 
part of my intention to travel out of the line of argument to which 
these limits restrict me. I shall not pretend to discuss the sub 
ject of slavery as it exists in the South, or the peculiar views 
and sentiments of an adverse character entertained by the peo 
ple of the North. All that I have to do in the performance of 
my duty here, is to speak of the laws of the State of Maryland 

* One thing is worthy of remark in this report of the trial. Mr. 
ard son s speech is reported in ///, while nothing scarcely of Mr. John 
son s is reported save his exordium. Why not follow him as lie txamincd 
stimony? It will ever he believed by many, that this omission was 
intended, in order that no impression should he made upon the mind of 
the community in favor of Mr. Torrey s innocence. ED. 


as we find them it is by those laws that the prisoner is to be 
tried, and by the same laws you are sworn as his jurors. You 
will therefore try this case as you would any other upon the 
law and the facts and therefore it differs from no other. You 
will look only to the solemn obligation which you have assu 
med, and the responsibilities associated therewith. It is not for 
you to consider the relations of private life which may exist with 
regard to this prisoner; nor are you to investigate those feel 
ings which may actuate him, as supposed to emanate from God ; 
or any other principle of action or consideration, that may have 
been interposed between you arid your duty. You sit there bound 
by the oaths which you have taken, and the solemnity of the re 
sponsibilities imposed on you, responsibilities which nothing can 
sever, and from which nothing can release you. It is required of 
you that you deal impartially with this traverser, between him and 
the State of Maryland. Even though civil broil ensue, though ser 
vile war shall be the consequence, aye, though the disunion of this 
confederacy be the result of your verdict, you cannot sever your 
self from the obligations which you have respectively assumed. 
Coming then to the deliberation of this question, severed and se 
gregated as you are from the community, in the particular duty to 
which you have been called ; you will come with me to the calm, 
unbiassed, and I am sure unprejudiced consideration of the facts 
of the case. 

The question which engages our attention is then, what are 
the points which are to be presented in this case, and which are 
to tend to the conviction of this prisoner? It is necessary for 
the State to establish first, that the traverser was the individual 
who drove the carriage which was seen passing up the Harford 
road on the morning of the 7th June, as referred to by the wit 
nesses ; and secondly, that the negroes with him in that carriage 
were the property of Mr. Heckrotte. This proved, the corollary 
of charges are established that he enticed, persuaded and assist 
ed them to run away. Now is there a man in that jury box, 
who having heard all the evidence, doubts that that carriage was 
driven by the prisoner at the bar ? I do not remember that the 
learned counsel who last addressed you on Saturday, attempted 
to controvert the fact. It is certain that on the 4th June he hired 
the carriage and horses of Mr. Woodward ; that he went up the 
road with that carriage and horses on the morning of the 5th, 
and returned the same day. It is equally certain that the individ 
ual now on trial, drove the carriage. The witnesses tell you pos 
itively that the prisoner is the person whom they saw so engaged. 



George Rigdon tolls you that he saw him at Deer creek bridge, 
and looked at him there for ten minutes. 

Mr. Richardson now proceeded successively to the testimony 
of each of the witnesses, arraying the facts first with reference 
to the identity of Torrey, and next those having their applica 
tion tor the identification of the witnesses. As this testimony 
has already been before the reader, it will be unnecessary to re 
fer more particularly to it. In concluding that portion directed 
towards the identity of Torrey, the learned attorney exclaimed, 
with emphasis, if evidence could be demanded for the convic 
tion of any man, stronger than this, I am unable to determine 
what the strength of testimony is. 

The next question is, said Mr. R., whether the negroes were 
the property of Mr. Heckrotte ? To this point the testimony of 
Mr. H. was first advanced in proof that he lost them on the 
evening of the 4th June. There were mother, daughter and 
son, all stout and well proportioned the first about forty years 
of age, the second, nineteen, and the last seventeen. On the 
morning of the 7th, three negroes, corresponding in every par 
ticular, are seen as had been described by witnesses. Mr. 
Richardson referred to the dress, appearance, &c., agreeing in 
every particular. He thought lie could not be taxing the cre 
dulity of the jury too much to ask them to believe that they 
were the same. Mr. R. then referred to the finding of the frag 
ments of sausages, and the entire cracker at Deer creek bridge, 
the latter marked H. H. He would not pretend to refer to so 
apparently unimportant a fact as worthy of a moment s consider 
ation in itself; but, contended Mr. R., facts and circumstances 
in such a position as those in the present case, do not have their 
individual weight alone. Their importance increases in geo 
metrical progression, not fact by fact, but 1 4 16, etc., weav 
ing, as it were, a ligament about the accused beyond the power 
of moral strength to destroy. Thus a withe that a mere child 
might break, when bound together with others, no stronger than 
itself may become too strong for a giant to sunder. So with a 
single fact which lias no power in itself, when followed and as 
sociated and surrounded by others, becomes too strong for hu 
man credulity to resist. 

Mr. R. then proceeded to speak of the fact of the tooth being 
out, as observed by Samuel Rigdon and Amos, though not by 
Robert Rigdon, and contended that in all cases one positive tes 
timony was worth a dozen negative, but here were two positive 
to one negative. 



Were this all on which the State had to rest, said Mr. R., were 
this all to which I have now alluded, I could confidently declare 
that the State had made out a case which was sufficient in itself. 
But there is yet behind that which, if I may so express myself, 
puts a cap upon the pillar of evidence which no man can throw 
down. Here is the ribbon, gentlemen. Mr. R. then spoke to 
this branch of the testimony, and especially to the fact that the 
color had faded. Now, said Mr. R., every man knows that green 
is made by the admixture of yellow and blue ; and any man 
who has but a superficial acquaintance with chemistry, knows 
also that if you extract the blue, the yellow remains. Now I 
have, to make assurance doubly sure, taken the blue from a por 
tion of this ribbon gradually less and less from a certain point 
down to the end, where I have pinned the piece found at Deer 
creek. (This Mr. R. handed to the jury for their examination.) 
That ribbon, gentlemen, speaks more conclusively than the oath 
of any man upon earth. 

Mr. R. now referred to the letter written by Samuel Rigdon 
to Mr. Heckrotte, at the instance of George, and defended the 
witnesses from the charge of variation in their statements, as 
hinted from the other side, and claimed for them though hum 
ble in life, a character for veracity and integrity second to that 
of neither judge, counsel, jury, or spectator. 

But, sny the counsel on the other side, it is true, if you please, 
that Torrey was seen in the carriage, arid they were the negroes 
of Mr. Heckrotte. The act of Assembly confines you to the city 
of Baltimore. He was seen in Harford county, and you cannot 
punish him in Baltimore city court. Gentlemen of the jury, look 
at the position in which their client is placed by the very point 
raised by his counsel. Although he is the guilty man, you can 
not declare that he is so, because he is not before the right tri 
bunal. So then, under the high obligations of the oath yon have 
taken, you are to let him go free, in the effort to grope about for 
the right tribunal. I apprehend that he will have to raise a higher 
principle of defence than this, before he asks you to trifle with 
your oaths. He is here, where he ought to be. This is the court 
in which he is and must be tried. The circumstances are on oath 
before us, and I ask you to go with me to their investigation. 
If he is not guilty here, he is not guilty in Harford. Mr. Heck 
rotte loses three kind, obedient, affectionate servants; affection 
ate, I say, for at their own desire, on the death of their mistress, 
they are put into mourning for her. According to the theory of 
the counsel for the defence, he might have taken them up in the 


road, without any previous understanding. We are to believe 
that Torrey is driving down the road to Baltimore, and meets 
these three negroes accidentally, without previous concert, or 
knowledge of them, takes them into his carriage, turns about 
and drives them into Pennsylvania. Now I say, that if they 
were informed that if they left their master, a carriage would be 
at a given place to carry them off, though without the limits of 
direct taxation, and the driver of that carriage knew that they 
were runaway slaves, he is guilty here. If Mr. Torrey was that 
man, though they had never seen Mr. Torrey, he is guilty, here, 
within the meaning of the act of Assembly. 

Mr. R. then referred briefly to the testimony of Charles Heck- 
rotte, contending that there was some reason why the individual 
who was conversing with the girl at the gate, walked away 
when Charles approached. And if so, why should it not be Mr. 
Torrey as well as any other man, although the counsel argues 
that had it been him he would have turned the other way. 
Charles tells you, when he sees Mr. Torrey, that he believes he 
is the man. Mr. Richardson now came, " last though not least," 
he observed, to the testimony of South mayd. The counsel says 
that the State has not made out its case without South mayd, or 
it would never have introduced his testimony. Such is not the 
case. The State could safely leave the case here ; but I care not 
how black may be the character of the witness, there are circum 
stances which prove his truth, and over which his character can 
have no influence or control. He is there in the room with Tor 
rey ; they with some of their fellow-prisoners have made an at- 
fort to escape, and first it is necessary to aid the escape of one 
of their number. This is done by means of bail, which this court 
understands; a man, Klein 1 mean, who will perjure himself for 
a price, is security for Holmes, and Holmes the fact is uncon- 
tradicted goes to Philadelphia and obtains instruments for the 
work of escape, which are introduced into the jail to Torrey, by 
his landlady. At the time of this joint attempt to escape, South- 
muyd becomes the confidant of Torrey, and subsequently, when 
he thinks proper to communicate with Mr. Heckrotte, he states 
facts which have never been published in any newspaper in the 
city of Baltimore ; facts that he could have had from no one but 
Torrey, or by special revelation ; but according to the counsel 
on the other side, he is not the man to whom a mysterious reve 
lation is at all likely to be made. Therefore I say, though he is 
black as Erebus, some good may come out of Nazareth, and the 
devil himself may speak the truth. Mr. Richardson read South- 


mayd s letter to Mr. Heckrotte ; referred to the statements there 
in contained, relative to the old negro at the back of the ceme 
tery, the washing the horse in Deer creek, the arrest of Torrey 
and the taking away of his pistols, and called upon the defence 
to show that these things were not so. He contended that they 
carne from Torrey, and that Sonthmayd could have had them 
from no other source. He spoke of the persuasion necessary to 
get the old woman away from her master, corresponding with the 
account given by Mr. Heckrotte, of the agreeable relations in 
which they lived, until the peace and harmony of the family was 
invaded by the evil day in which the prisoner introduced him 
self. And he would venture to say that they are far less happy 
at their present abode than they were under the roof of a kind 
and indulgent master. 

A word more and I have done, said Mr. R. I am not here to 
speak of the private relations of the prisoner with any other in 
dividual. It is unhappily too frequently the case that in the ad 
ministration of wholesome justice, the innocent must suffer with 
the guilty. Admit that the pangs to be inflicted on another are 
agonizing, if you will, but if this consideration is to produce any 
effect upon you adverse to your convictions of justice, the guilty 
hereafter have nothing to do but to plead that in their punish 
ment the pangs of anguish are to be inflicted upon the partners 
of their lives, to escape the penalty of their crimes. You can sym 
pathize with her, gentlemen, you must ; with all the anxiety of 
your minds you may feel and dwell upon the intense anguish 
which your verdict may inflict upon the wife, but you must ren 
der that verdict in conformity with the obligations of your oath. 

Mr. Johnson has told you that Torrey is no ordinary culprit, 
that he is a graduate of one of our first universities, and was in 
early life and for many years a distinguished minister of the gos 
pel in the glorious old State of Massachusetts. Devoted to the 
study of God s law. Has he done so ? And has he not learned 
that that law binds him equally to God and the community in 
which he lives ? One of the counsel has said that for the viola 
tion of the law of man he will stand justified before God. Let 
me tell him that he knows of no law that separates the citizen 
from the Christian. If I know anything of God s law, it requires 
every man to perform well all the relations of life. What has the 
chief apostle of them all instructed us? Wives, obey your hus 
bands; husbands, love your wives; children, reverence your pa 
rents ; parents, teach your children ; servants, obey your masters, 
not rendering them eye-service I speak not the letter, but the 


spirit of the sentiment but obedience in all things. Here, then, 
all the relations of life are inculcated and commended. Further 
says the apostle: Obey your rulers; the powers that be are or 
dained of God. Thus, then, if you disobey your rulers, you vio 
late the ordinance of God. Are not the laws of the land, and the 
magistrates by whom they are administered, to be respected ? 
Am I to he told that the man who lives in the constant violation 
of the laws of the land, is doing his duty ! Vain man ! who told 
you that God s ordinances are higher than the laws of man ? 
Who made you the judge of your fellows ? In this country, 
from the Supreme court down to the lowest tribunal, the insti 
tution in question has had sanction and protection. And can he 
reconcile it to his conscience to live in open or in secret violation 
of the acknowledged law ? But peradventure, he may think the 
law of God is higher than the law of man ; and it was said that 
he will stand justified before the bar of God. And moreover, 
peradventure, it is said he thought he was doing God service ! 
Ah ! did he so ? In the book from which he learned God s law, 
he will find that bright and glorious intellect which illuminated 
the mind of Saul of Tarsus, deceived by the same vain imagining. 
Saul of Tarsus, who was afterwards the chiefest of the apostles, 
was on his way to Damascus, to persecute the lowly followers 
of Jesus; but suddenly he saw a light from heaven, a light that 
illuminated at once his intellect and reason ; he heard the ac 
companying words, " Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me ?" 
and looking up he saw in that bright light the lowly Nazarene, 
exhibiting himself to his enraptured gaze, the Savior of mankind ! 
The honest Jew saw, by the mysterious illumination of his mind, 
the error of his ways he, too, thought he was doing God service. 
That bright and glorious intellect, which afterwards irradiated 
the whole Christian world, was mistaken in its zeal. Let no vain 
man think that he is doing God service, when he comes in con 
flict with man s laws ordained by his own people. 

Gentlemen of the jury, if you can acquit the traverser, in the 
name of God, do it ! But let me caution you that you allow no 
excitement, either here or elsewhere, to operate upon your ver 

Mr. Richardson handed the indictment to the jury, when the 
foreman asked if they were to find the offence committed in the 
city of Baltimore. Mr. Richardson told them they must, and 
handed them the act of Assembly. 

They then retired to their room, it being about twelve o clock. 
The jury returned into court about twenty minutes before two 


o clock, having agreed upon a verdict finding the prisoner guilty, 
on every indictment. 

Mr. Cox, of counsel for the defence, immediately rose and sub 
mitted a motion in arrest of judgment and for a new trial. 

Counsel for the State, George R. Richardson, Esq., for the de 
fence, Reverdy Johnson, Nathaniel Cox arid Francis Gallagher, 

The evening after his conviction, Mr. Torrey addressed 
the following letter to the editor of the Morning Chronicle. 

Baltimore Jail, Dec. 3, 1844. 

"Well, I am convicted; and, of course, liable, on each in 
dictment, to six years imprisonment in the penitentiary. 

" My counsel gave immediate notice of a motion for arrest 
of judgment, on the ground of a legal defect in the indict 
ment. But I do not believe that will be of any service, 
though I have little doubt that the grounds of the motion are 
legally correct. It is, that the indictment fails to state that, 
in the words of the statute, I am a -free person? In States 
where the quibbles of the old common law practice and spe 
cial pleading prevail, I have no doubt the objection is a good 
one. Massachusetts, most wisely and justly, set aside all 
such proceedings, by that measure of legal reform which Rob 
ert Rantoul, Jr. carried through the legislature. 

" Even should the motion result in my discharge, it will not 
change my settled opinion as to the bad and corrupting ten 
dency of such proceedings. I submit to having the motion 
made with the greatest reluctance ; albeit, I do not believe 
the court will yield to it, plain as 1 am told the matter is, 
where such legal technics have not been abolished by statute. 

" Notice was given of a motion for a new trial. But this 
my family, and other friends, urge me not to press. 

" I say, without hesitation, that, as a mere criminal pro 
ceeding, I should have given the same verdict, had I been a 
juror, on the unimpeached evidence of those reprobate Rig- 
dons. Still, I know that the entire evidence they gave, so 


far as it related to the charge, was perjured, as was the whole 
of the wretched Hatch s testimony and that of young Heck- 
rotte, so far as it refers to me. Some part of their perjuries 
could easily be proved as, for example, all that Samuel F. 
Rigdon said of seeing, me with whole loads of negroes in 
April, May, and November, 1843, when 10,000 people of New 
York and New England, know just as well as they know the 
existence of the sun in heaven, that I was not within two 
hundred miles of Maryland. 

" The jury did not believe the evidence of young Heck- 
rotte or Hatch ; but relied on the identity of the horses and 
carnage, the ribbon matter, and the Rigdons testimony, which, 
as I before said, is perjured in regard to all that refers to hav 
ing seen me with three negroes ; or their having seen Heck- 
rotte s boy at all ; which none of them ever did, or any man 
resembling him in dress, color, stature, features or age ; or 
in regard to the tooth of the old woman/ or the dress of 
either mother or daughter. 

" In all these items I know they swore falsely. As to a 
considerable portion of the other items, I do not know whether 
or not the witnesses swore truly, as they are strangers to me. 
The entire ribbon business, I am deeply persuaded, was a 
shrewd trick, concocted in this city on the first visit of the 

" My counsel, as convinced of the falsehood of the testi 
mony of these men as I am, deem it hardly probable that it 
can be so entirely destroyed as to prevent a second conviction. 
The credibility of two of the Rigdons, the old man, Sam, 
and Robert, could be easily destroyed. George has more per 
sons of reputation, who, from the character he formerly de 
served, still believe his legal veracity good. So, on the whole, 
they advise submission to the verdict, in case their motion in 
arrest of judgment fails. 

" Richardson s plea was able, and, on the whole, very fair 
and manly. The only exception I would make to this is, 


that he persisted in sustaining the testimony of the reprobate 
Hatch. I do not think he really put any confidence in it. 
He only undertook to sustain it on this ground, viz., that some 
of Hatch s statements must have been derived from me. The 
particular items he referred to, were nearly the same that 
were contained in the testimony of the two Rigdons on my 
arrest, and of which I had often spoken, to forty people, so 
they were already public matters. The only exceptions to 
this were three. 1. A certain old Nick, a colored black 
smith, was referred to. I know not where he got this ; for I 
never heard of such a man myself, till Sam Davis named him, 
in confessing to me the scoundrelism Hatch and he, and Heck- 
rotte, and others, had planned for the purpose of securing my 
conviction. I set a man to work to find if there was such a 
person, but he could find no such man ! 

" The next particular related to my alleged meeting negroes 
in a graveyard back of Greenmount cemetery. I never was 
there but once, and that in the day time, and alone. When 
we were planning the attempt to escape, I remembered that 
solitary place, and fixed on it as the place we would run for 
first, if we got out. I subsequently spoke of it to many per 
sons, to two of the board of visitors, and others. Hatch got 
the idea of locating my pretended confession there from 
that source. 

" The third item is in regard to his knowing how Heck- 
rotte was in the habit of calling Hannah Gooseberry his old 
woman." Heckrotte himself called her so, in conversation 
with him, before the letter was written /never did. There 
was no other item of his confession, his knowledge of which 
could not be accounted for, without any reference to his false 
* confessions. This poor creature was mad with me because, 
in an effort to benefit him, I indirectly gave others a clue 
to his real name, though I then supposed him to be Davis 
Hatch, his very respectable and excellent brother. It was 
only so late as Nov. 14, that I learned from Horace Dresser, 


Esq., his true name and character. His only object in pro 
posing or agreeing to swear falsely against me, was manifestly 
to save his own neck, by aiding Avhat he supposed was popu 
lar feeling against an imprisoned abolitionist. In his testi 
mony, he unintentionally admitted his own identity with 
James Wilson, under which name he stands indicted here 
for stealing a horse and sleigh. His counsel had previously 
got another theft of a horse and gig settled by arbitration. 

" Why am I thus minute ? It is that none of my friends 
may ever, from any unexplained items, deem me guilty of the 
stupid folly of putting myself in the power of this man, by 
any such * confession as he falsely swore to. 

" He also speaks of Patterson s negroes. Such a man 
came to the window one day and charged me with aiding 
some of his slaves to escape. This Hatch knew. Patter 
son saw Hatch before the trial. But I was not within 450 
miles of Maryland (being in Western New York), when Pat 
terson s first slaves left, according to his advertisement in the 
Sun. Indeed, I think on that very day I was in the house 
of Henry Bradley, of Penn Yan, Yates county. He had 
another run off last spring or winter, when I was in Philadel 
phia. When I came to Baltimore, April 15th, or 17th, his 
advertisements for her were still in the prints. But I never 
saw her, or any of the others. 

"Do you want to know how I feel towards these perjured 
beings and others, to whom I owe my imprisonment ? 1 re 
ply, I feel kindly, forgivingly. Some of them I deeply com 
miserate for their awful guilt, before God. I cannot help 
pitying poor Hatch, very much. I tried, by several hints, to 
give him warning of what an exposure awaited him; but it 
only seemed to make him more brazen in crime. Who but 
must pity such a man ! Could I be freed to-night, by taking 
upon my soul one tithe of his guilt and future remorse, I 
would not do it ; no, not for more than all life itself ever had 
or could have to induce me. And so I feel towards youn 



Heckrotte and those Rigdons. The latter, professional slave- 
catchers by occupation, belong to the most degraded class of 
southern society. You have no corresponding class in the 
North only here and there individuals, who might rank with 
these border blood-hounds, and with what Wirt so justly called 
the feculum of the creation/ viz., plantation overseers. 

" No, thank God ! freedom has no use, no occupations to 
call into existence classes of such beings, within her domains. 
May Maryland soon cease to have such creatures within her 
borders ! Slavery done away, this would soon become a glo 
rious State ; though, no doubt, a generation would pass away 
before the dreadful social immoralities that follow in the train 
of slavery would disappear. 

" Do you ask, Have you any thing to regret, in what you 
have done, whether for individual slaves, or the cause of free 
dom? No, from the bottom of my heart, NO ! According 
to the light given me, and the degree of physical and mental 
powers I possessed, I have labored faithfully, and as wisely 
as I knew how. If others have been wiser, it is because God 
made them so. If they have done mare, it is because he gave 
them higher powers and ampler opportunities for action. 

" On another topic I wish to say a few words. This 
wretched Hatch, among other fictions, coined pretended 
threats against the lives of Heckrotte and the keepers, etc. 
Those who have known my life, and opinions, and actions, 
from infancy, will readily class this with the six 5-barrelled 
pistols story, which appeared in a Philadelphia paper, I am 
told, after my attempt to escape. I was thinking of it yester 
day, as a singular fact, that one with so large an organ of 
combativeness as I possess, and as enthusiastically as I loved 
the driest details of military science, from my earliest remem 
brance till I was twenty years old, (nay, I do still think such 
books far more amusing than novels !) I say, that in all my 
life, I never had a quarrel with any one. No one, I believe, 
ever suspected me of any want of physical or moral courage, 


to do any act whatever, dangerous or not. Yet I solemnly 
declare, that from ray infancy to this hour, I never raised my 
hand or finger, or used any weapon or instrument whatever, 
in violence against any human being ! (Unless the correc 
tion of my children and pupils in school be so deemed ; I am 
of Solomons creed on these topics !) I never even threat 
ened violence to any one. In my boyhood, I avoided the rude 
sports of my playmates. In one instance only in my life, 
did I ever wrestle with any one. That was with my friend 
and school-fellow, a good abolitionist, Wm. P. Briggs, of Scit- 
uate. Has he forgotten the wrestling bout, in the ploughed 
field, in the young orchard north of his father s house, at 
Scituate, or how he whipped me ? Happy boys were we 
then ; little dreaming of the future that might await us ; 
what opinions of morals, politics, religion, we should cherish ; 
what labors and toils for ourselves or others we should per 
form or endure ; what our social relations might be, or our 
destiny, freedom to him or a prison to me. For years, those 
bright days of boyhood had almost passed from memory, till 
my lonely hours in prison revived them. How many of all 
the dear companions we loved are already in their graves ! 
How many more we shall never meet again ! * Meet again ? 
1 am in prison. Years will probably elapse before / shall 
again see cheerful faces, and hear any of the happy voices of 
infancy, or the tones of my own dear children. Even they, 
if I live, will have forgotten their father s features, even if 
love preserves his memory. How have I wandered away ! 
I began with referring to my habitual and uniform avoidance 
of both violence and threats of it, both because I was falsely 
accused and because a friend told me the reports equally false 
and idle, at the time of my attempted escape, had wounded 
some friends whose regard I highly cherish, and I ended 
with dreams of my early youth! 

"Whether my future business will be silk weaving or 
jeans, I know not. Of one thing I am sure, these wiseacres 


of Maryland have subjected me, in prospect, to what to me 
is the severest possible torture, mental inaction. 

" Did you ever think of the real nature of the really im 
proved system of prison discipline ? Of its forced silence for 
years ? Of its utter deprivation of any considerable degree 
of knowledge, or any other source of activity of mind ? Of 
the stopping of all progress in the knowledge of the world s 
history, literature, arts, social improvements, and religious 
events ? How certainly a prisoner, by the violation of near 
ly every great law of his moral, mental and social nature, is 
forced down towards mental imbecility ? Do you know how 
many of the reformed prisoners leaving our better classes of 
prisons, commit no crime, indeed, because they have no long 
er energy either for good or evil ? How many, very many, 
are pardoned merely to diminish the per centum of actual 
deaths in prison ? 

" Do you know, either from conversing with discharged 
prisoners or from other sources, the secret horrors of the 
* cat and shower bath , and solitary cells without food ? And 
do you know how many years of bodily labor, cheered by no 
sympathy, no hope, no reward, break down the physical na 
ture of a man ? 

" Do not suppose I suggest these queries because such is 
to be my own doom. That I can meet, and live or die, as 
God pleases. I have been gradually gathering up facts and 
ideas, for some years, which I had hoped this summer to 
throw into the form of an Essay on Crime and Punishment, 
to show that the * Auburn or * Philadelphia systems of prison 
discipline, in removing some of the more obvious evils of the 
old system, and adding some good things, had only substitu 
ted, for the most part, one evil for another ; and that its vio 
lations of the higher laws of man s nature were even more 
disastrous, because less obvious to the unreflecting. Just as 
the miasma that caused the cholera is more to be dreaded 
than the fetor of a stagnant pond. Obvious evils may be 


readily corrected. To reform men, labor must be the inci 
dental duty ; moral, social, and mental cultivation and in 
struction, the great business of the prison. Now it is just the 
reverse. Our excellent friend, Louis Dwight, deems it the 
great defect of the l Auburn system, that no provision is 
made for reformed and discharged convicts. For a time I 
was much taken with his views. There would be a further 
removal of a few more glaring evils, by such measures as he 
suggests. But reflection, many facts, carefully weighed, and, 
since, reviewed, in almost six months of life inside of a pris 
on, have slowly produced a conviction not to be easily shak 
en, that the system itself contains, after all, the seeds of the 
destruction of every thing good and noble in man s nature. 
Man is there subjected to, virtually, despotic power ; cut off 
from all possible ways of acting out one right, good, or pure 
social feeling or moral or spiritual impulse ; his intellect fet 
tered far more than his body ; and both mind and body made 
the mere laboring machines to grind out profit to the State ; 
to toil unpaid, without adding by labor to one s own, or the 
happiness of one human being ; without sympathy or words 
of cheer, but simply as a penalty. No, the penalty is not the 
labor, but the other circumstances under which it is per 

" Think over these topics look into them ; not for my 
sake, but for humanity s and God s. Restraint and reform 
are the mottoes of the Auburn system. Pity, not penalty, is 
deemed its chief element. It supposes, in theory, that ven 
geance the penalty for sin belongs to God. Its practice 
is only a refinement of the tortures of the inquisition. 

" Do you forget the Sabbath and its rest, and religious in 
stitutions ? No, I forget not the almost mockery of them all, 
in our prisons. It is a transient gleam of right and light, 
shining over a dark and evil system. Nor do I forget that this, 
with the other parts of the system, produces that quiescence 
of passion, and submissive imbecility and dreariness, that the 


chaplains sometimes, and the prisoners oftener mistake for 
reform and concession. That some of the reforms are sound, 
I deny not. That some physical and mental constitutions are 
not impaired seriously by the system, I know. So too, I know 
-that Donald McDonald died one day, at Lynn, aged 121 
years, 100 of which he had been a common drunkard. And 
I know, too, that most of our wise and good men, are so per 
suaded of the almost perfection of the Auburn system, that 
they will hardly be patient at suggestions like mine, at first. 
I have been surprised to see how facile good men were in 
closing their eyes to such atrocities as leaked out in connec 
tion with the removal of Elam Lynds from Auburn, and af 
terwards from Sing Sing. And how blind they have been 
to all the demonstrated results of the system which the * Me 
chanics Associations have spread before the world, in their 
efforts to relieve their trades not from a mere business 
competition with ex-prisoners, but the debasement of prison 
morals ! I know a bad spirit, an unmerciful spirit, has often 
appeared in their papers. Their plans of reform, as developed 
in the new Clinton Co. prison, involve no change in the system, 
but only the transfer of its evils to other classes of men, carry 
out their views, and sinner and felon will be synonymous 
in twenty years. But enough of this. Some years hence, if 
I live, and am not so broken down as I have seen strong men, 
by two years of reformed discipline, in both body and mind, 
as to prevent my doing it, I may be able to record the results 
of a personal experience of a system, the evil nature of which 
I am deeply convinced of. 

" To my many, many friends, who, by letters of sympa 
thy, contributions of money, personal visits, and messages of 
kindness, have made my long imprisonment in this old jail 
less grievous, nay, often the source of the highest gratification, 
I can only express my heartfelt gratitude for their kindness 
and affection. May God do so to them, in the hour of their 
need ! And may that Savior who has not forgotten me in my 


prison, be the source of light, peace and loving activity to them, 
in their freedom. I hope (though I expect to pass from most 
minds as a nine days talk ) that some of those with whom I 
have often taken sweet counsel, will continue to remember 
their brother in bonds, when they visit the mercy seat. I 
cannot write, individually, again to my numerous correspond 
ents, or to any, save my relatives, or on such business as my 
little remnant of freedom shall make needful. Sometimes I 
am anxious about my own dear wife and children. But I 
leave them in God s hands, confident that he will be better 
than father and husband to them. To-night my wife parted 
from me not to meet again, perhaps I say, probably, 
while we live. God bless her \ Had crime parted us, she 
would, no doubt, have wept bitter tears. Help her, true 
yoke-fellows, in those literary exertions on which she must 
probably rely, for the future support of herself and our little 

" I want still to say one word of cheer to my fellow-laborers. 
The intense and universal excitement in this city connected 
with my trial, will, I trust, do some good. Anti-slavery, for 
once, has been made the topic of eager debate in every bar 
room and eating-house, and its most radical principles have 
not wanted defenders, in all circles ; not to mention the more 
influential classes, in which similar excitement and divided 
feelings have been manifested. So that, notvdthstanding my 
case lias been dealt with as one of mere ordinary criminal ju 
risprudence, the issues involved have not been forgotten, and 
I believe God will not suffer them to be so, till in 1850, the 
LAW OF LIBERTY shall be proclaimed from the capitol of Ma 
ryland. If God has ten faithful men in all this State, that 
year will see Maryland free, her slave-prisons demolished, 
her slave-jails empty, her overseers and blood-hound Rig- 
dons and their likes, if not penitent, yet starved into better 
business ; her slave-traders banished, the blight on her pros 
perity, the bane of her morals, removed, and equal laws ex- 


tended over all her citizens. Mark it well ! 1850 is the set 
time ! I write in the same old jail where, in the heart of that 
noble man, whom, with all his faults, we love and honor still, 
Wm. L. Garrison, God commenced the present abolition 
movement. The final battle-ground may yet be round this 
same old jail ! From this jail, I entreat the different classes 
of abolitionists to lay aside all wrath, clamor, and evil speak 
ing of each other ; to love as brethren, if their differing judg 
ments will not always allow them to labor together. Let each 
in his own way, work for the slave, without finding fault with 
each other s plans, or suspecting each other s spirit or faith 
fulness. As to the old and * new organizations, the Liberty 
party and the non-voting party, I solemnly declare my con 
viction that one heart, one spirit, one object, one purpose ani 
mates, not only the ; leaders , but the entire mass of both par 
ties, with no more individual exceptions than we find where- 
ever human infirmity is connected with, and striving for, any 
good and noble end. We all differ on a thousand other topics, 
and, when we come together to act for the slave, we cannot 
leave our coats at home ! We cannot cast off our own indi 
viduality of character, opinion, and habit. But we can be 
* forbearing, kind, gentle, easy to be entreated. That God 
has overruled our past strifes for the furtherance of the cause, 
does not justify the many, many exhibitions of a bad spirit 
that accompanied those strifes, as much in one as in the oth 
er * organization ; and which made division and evil other 
wise it is none ; it merely multiplies laborers and forms of ac 
tivity. * Suffer the word of exhortation, brethren, to peace, 
cordiality, co-operation, where it can be, and an imitation of 
Abraham and Lot, where union of action is not possible. 
The day of jubilee will come the sooner. O, if I had never 
known aught of the effects of slavery on the morals, happi 
ness and welfare of man, but what my eyes have seen and 
my ears heard in this jail, I would vow to it, and make my 
children vow undying, active enmity, without an hour s rest, 


till not a slave cursed the land with his tears, or blasted its 
fields with his blood. Tis the slave s blood and sweat that 
cover the South with ( old fields, barrens , and decayed and 
log houses, where comfort is never known, where ignorance 
reigns, where misery dwells ; where even religion consists in 
dreams, ecstasies, shoutings, and idle meeting-going, rather 
than in doing the will of God from the heart. 

" One thing I beg my brethren to do. Wait not for politi 
cal ascendency in the North, or for the reform or overturn of 
all our pro-slavery ecclesiastical bodies, before resuming the 
most direct, and active, and universal efforts to diffuse our 
views and principles, by means of the press and otherwise, in 
the SLAVE STATES. Now, the public mind, all over the 
South, is prepared to receive the truth with infinitely more 
calmness and intelligence than it was in 1832-8, when such a 
flood of publications was issued. Let that flood of books, 
pamphlets, tracts and essays flow forth again. Get 5000 prom 
inent names in every State it can be easily done and visit 
them monthly with the truth. Every thing anti-slavery is 
now eagerly read in the South. The desire to read is far 
ahead of the supply of proper reading on the subject. Con 
sider what I say. Where are the idle stereotype plates of 
liberty ? 

" I did intend to reply to the voices of sympathy that came 
to my cell from across the water, from the land whence my 
puritan soldier-ancestor, * Lieutenant James Torrey, fled, 
in 1629, to find religious freedom, in the wild woods of 
what is now my native Scituate. Now, the once tyrant 
mother-land teaches the daughter lessons in the science of 
personal freedom and equal laws, to guard the poor in the 
quiet possession of it. But I cannot even reply to that docu 
ment which bears, written in tremulous characters, the prae 
clarum et veneraUle nomen of THOMAS CLARKSON, and the 
kind note from JOHN SCOBLE, which accompanied it. But 
your paper will tell that honored brother, and the venerable 


father of the anti-slavery cause, that I shall leave it with my 
children to teach them that a felon s prison, for the slave s 
sake, does not deprive their father of the respect of those 
whose approval is honor. 

Farewell ! CHARLES T. TORREY, 

31 years old, Nov. 21, 1844. 



The sentence upon Mr. Torrey was suspended for nearly 
one month. During a fortnight of this time, he wrote that 
wonderful little book, called " Home," or " The Pilgrim s 
Faith revived." It was a wonder to many that he could write 
such a book at all. It will be a matter of astonishment to all 
who read a book of two hundred and fifty-five pages, that it 
should have been written by a prisoner in twelve days. He 
was finally, sentenced to six years hard labor in the State 
Penitentiary, and removed there to suffer and finally to die, 
upon the 30th day of December, 1844. Cut off from the 
world cut off from his family for helping others out of bon 
dage into the world of freedom for uniting a happy family, 
cut off from his own. 

" Nor wife nor children ever more shall see !" 

He was treated in all respects as humanely as the rules of 
the prison would allow ; and was permitted to write to his 
family and friends. 

The following letters will show how he fared and how he 


Baltimore Penitentiary, Jan. 19, 1845. 
" My dear wife, Your very welcome letter, without date, 
was received last week. It has given me many hours of hap 
piness. Our blessings are the more valuable when we are 
deprived of them. So your affection and that of my dear lit 
tle children, never seemed so precious to me as now, when, 
perhaps, for years, I may not see you or hear your voices 
again. But, whether it be so or not, Mizpah, Gen. 31: 49. 
I suppose my feelings and condition as a prisoner will most 
interest you. The last Monday in 1844, I was conducted 
over here, by Hoey and Mc Kinley. The first was as brutal 
as ever, and took occasion to insult me that morning. Dr. 
Snodgrass was kind enough to come with me, after sitting 
an hour with me in my cell, and cheering me by various con 
siderations. The change of place was like a reprieve to a 
dying man ! The officers here are gentlemen, not brutes and 
tyrants, in comparison with the jailors. I was received and 
have been treated with kindness and sympathy, and my con 
dition made as pleasant as the Penitentiary system will allow. 
Of that, everything I have yet seen and heard confirms the 
views I expressed in my letter to the Chronicle, in December 
last. Its tendency is only to harden and brutalize all who are 
the subjects of it, and to fit them to spend their entire after 
life in the commission of crime. Some of the items you 
wished for, you will have received ere this, in a letter for 
warded by Mr. Mason, with the daguerreotype, and my defence. 
I will just say, all restrictions on the printing of the latter are 
hereby removed. Let it make a part of the book you are 
editing, if it is deemed best. Say so to Alden. As to letters, 
the general rule is, that a prisoner is allowed to write to his 
friends once in three months. If business requires, he can 
write more frequently. So you see I can write to you only. 
You must say to my other friends, that, glad as I should be to 
do so, I cannot reply to their letters. The new officers, to be 


appointed next month, however, may establish different rules, 
more or less severe. There is no restriction on the number 
of letters to me. But as to topics, they must contain no news 
of the day, (as it is one object of the system to make the priso 
ners as ignorant as possible, and as unfit for life s duties, when 
they leave the prison). They must contain no remarks on 
slavery, or my imprisonment, unless, perdie! some of my 
friends take a fancy to exhort me to repent of hating shivery 
so much ! I came near losing a precious letter from Bro. 
Leavitt, and even yours, because you do not address me as a 
criminal, but sympathize with me as a man, lawlessly de 
prived of his freedom ! I suppose on your letters less prac 
tical restriction will be laid as to topics. But you had better 
avoid allusions to slavery. You must not forget that you are 
writing to one of the slaves of the State of Maryland! You 
had better apprize my friends of the nature of these restric 
tions, by a note in the Emancipator. Tell them to pay their 
postage always, or I shall not get their letters. Let them be di 
rected * Care of Asa Child, Esq., Baltimore, Md.," and they 
will reach me, after being read by the warden, if in his judg 
ment they contain nothing improper for a convict to read. The 
warden is absolute monarch within these walls, subject to the 
advice of the Board of Inspectors. There is no practical re 
sponsibility to law. But of all these matters, God helping me, 
I shall one day write, when I am free, if that happy day shall 
ever come. When a prisoner is introduced here, his name, 
age, height, marks, cause of commitment, etc., are registered 
in a book. He is divested of his clothing, washed in a tub, 
and clad in prison garb. This consists of a skull-cap of cot 
ton cloth, of different colors ; a shirt of coarse cotton cloth, 
with a wide collar of the same ; coarse flannels, if ordered by 
the physician, which is generally granted when desired ; a 
short jacket, pants and vest of kersey, about suitable for horse- 
blankets in winter ; striped cotton in summer. The vest and 
jacket are lined with white cotton. They are comfortable, 


though made in a slovenly manner. Their color is grey or 
dirt color. They are washed once a year. The under gar 
ments are changed every Sabbath day. The prisoners can 
wash their hands and faces in their work rooms ; but no other 
provision is made for cleanliness. 1 have managed to keep 
clean, so far. The convicts suffer much from this cause. Their 
cells are eight feet by four, brick on every side, sufficiently 
cool. They are arranged on the walls of a large building, in 
five stories, reached by galleries ; heated by furnaces in the 
centre of the basement story. The temperature is about forty- 
five or fifty degrees in my cell; just so as to keep my eyes, 
nose and lungs irritated, in cold days. The winter, here, has 
been very mild, so far. No snow has remained on the ground 
thirty hours ; and the ice has seldom remained all day. In 
another month a southern winter is nearly over. The bed 
consists of a sack, truckle, with a sufficient number of coarse 
cotton and woollen coverlets or blankets. There is no furni 
ture in the cell, save a water-can and bucket. The food is 
like that in the Charlestown prison, nearly, though not so well 
prepared. My fare is water, good, (thank God for cold water), 
a Taunton herring or two, and a plenty of excellent wheat 
bread ; this is the breakfast. Bread and water form my sup 
per. Those who wish it, as most do, have tea or coffee. The 
dinner consists of a bowl of soup, some meat or bacon, with 
either potatoes or turnips ; salt enough ; pepper three times 
a week, and molasses on Sunday ; all coarse, but good, or 
meant to be. You know that I care very little for the luxu 
ries of life, though I enjoy them as much as any one ; so that 
these matters all concern me very little. At first I was em 
ployed in weaving ; but the labor being very obviously too 
severe for my health and strength, I am now set at warping. 
When a little boy, I used to see aunt Fanny do all these 
things, and loved to help (or hinder) her ! I did not expect 
either would ever be my business for years ! But the labor I 
care not for. I am neither afraid nor ashamed of working, 


so far as God gives me strength. I am rather better in health 
than I was when you left, and a good deal stronger. The 
Sunday is the only holiday for the prisoner. We have wor 
ship, i. e. preaching, once. No music is allowed ; a great de 
privation to me. I have found time to read the Bible daily, 
and to read that charming book, Silvio Pellico s, My Prisons/ 
Get the book and read it, if you would know all a prisoner s 
changeful feelings, when he has no remorse in his bosom. It 
is one of the most charming books I ever read. In regard to the 
prospect of my release, I can say very little, only that the matter 
is said to be going on as well as could be expected. But my 
friends all exhort me to patience. So I conclude that the result 
may not be so speedy as we were led to hope. Thank God for 
the liberal spirit of our dear friends in Providence. It deeply 
affected my heart. God and his friends will watch over you 
and our little ones, and provide for you. Trust in him with 
all the heart, and do good, and verily ye shall be fed. 

" I think only one of your recent letters has miscarried. The 
others came after my own were sent. I presume you have not 
yet seen the manuscript of my HOME/ as you do not refer 
to it. I presume I should be allowed to correct the proof- 
sheets, if it is needful, when it is printed. Hasten on with the 
other book, and God give you prosperity in both these and 
your own literary efforts. In regard to my own feelings, I can 
not write much. From dark to day-light, say twelve or thir 
teen hours, we are in the cells, without any lights. I lie hours 
thinking of and praying for you, our children, and our friends. 
I shall try to adopt some plan of topics of thought, to relieve 
the dreary monotony of this slave s life. If I could have 
lights and writing materials, and books enough, I should be 
quite a happy prisoner. Perhaps God will provide them all 
ere long, if I am to be continued here. Meantime, I am gene 
rally happy, though with all those racing, changeful feelings, 
which Pellico so naturally describes. My mind is generally 
stayed on God. The Bible, which I have begun to study in 


course, with all the references, never seemed so rich and so 
sweet, in my life, as it does now. I have now got to the 
thirty-fifth chapter of Genesis. Let us read it together. We 
meet together, morning and evening, at the mercy-seat. So 
we are not quite separated. My cell window, four inches wide, 
gives me a glimpse of Howard s grove, and now and then of 
a glorious sunset. That is my time for devotional reading of 
the New Testament, and prayer, and walking my poor tomb- 
like cell. Then, the window by which I work commands a 
fine view of the valley towards the water-works, with several 
houses and a piece of road. So I can have a glimpse, now 
and then, of God s beautiful things, and of free man s handi 
works. And I try to find all the pleasant things I can around 
me, and to learn something daily. If I can have strength 
of mind to cherish these habits, I shall not fall into the semi- 
insane stupidity which is written on the faces of a majority of 
the poor men around me. I find myself daily exclaiming, 
* Oh that I could preach Christ to these poor sinners. The 
kind Methodist men who come to preach here, know nothing 
of the heart of a prisoner. And their well-meant efforts are 
very little adapted to do good. There is no resident chaplain, 
a great defect, which I hope will not always exist. Tell my dear 
children not to weep for father, but to pray for him, that God 
would give him health and a heart always filled with his Holy 
Spirit and love. And you, my dear wife, know well where 
the Fountain of life and peace flows forth from the dying love 
of our Lord. Or rather from his LIVING affection ; Because 
I LIVE, ye shall LIVE also, applies to our life here, as well as 
to the glory that shall follow. Let us keep our life hid with 
Christ, in God ; so that when he who is our life shall appear 
(be manifested in his glory), we also may both be with him 
and be like him. I find a crowd of thoughts pressing upon 
me, which I long to write, but I cannot. And arn I not to 
write to you again till April ! God grant me patience ! that 
2eems the hardest thing of all ! But there is no prison that 


has power to bind our thoughts or our hearts. Let us thank 
God for that, and take courage. This letter is not for publi 
cation, as you will judge. You will write a note yourself, 
stating the facts my friends need to know about letters to me 
and minor matters. The present gentlemanly officers, I sup 
pose, will soon be removed. May their whig successors be as 
kind ; but I doubt it. But God lives. So let us hope on, 
hope ever; assured that, in the end, we shall be more than 
conquerors, through him that loved us, aye, loves us now, 
with an everlasting love. God bless you, and our children, 
and fill you with His peace and joy. Write me often. It will 
be a consolation to me, next to the Bible, to read your letters 
and hear of your welfare. Love to all friends. I am your af 
fectionate husband, 


" Baltimore Penitentiary, March 2, 1845. 
"My Dear Wife, All my letters, as you will have occasion 
to notice, bear date on the holy Sabbath. The poor State of 
Maryland can t afford us time to write, in the six of our 
days she claims ; so she seizes a part of GOD S TIME for the 
purpose, and we must write then, or not at all. However, I 
trust it is no sin, though, to a certain extent, it is finding 
our own pleasure on His holy day. And for several Sab 
baths past, I have written letters for the ignorant class of 
prisoners, after dinner. I can, then, without violating rules, 
while their feelings are softened by the recollections of home 
and friends, say a word, at least, of Christ and salvation. 
Some appear very much hardened. Some are exceedingly 
embittered against the truth, and against society and its most 
wholesome laws. I think old and habitual thieves seein to 
be more filled with evil, than any others. Their perverted 
consciences lead them to feel that it will be right to have 
their revenge upon society for their years of thankless toil 
and seclusion. Alas ! there is very little in the prison, or its 


influences, to lead them to better things. The preaching 
once on the Sabbath, and, chiefly, by good, but illiterate lay 
men, is poorly adapted to benefit such men. To-day, we had 
a Scotchman, who had travelled in Russia, visited Palestine, 
Idumea, Egypt, etc., and who gave us a regular exhibit of 
* Scotch theology a phrase your father well understands. 
However, there was Christ in it, and set forth with affection 
ate plainness. And where that is done, I can forgive almost 
anything else. There are some few pious souls even in this 
dark prison. It is idle to talk of reforming hardened men, 
here. Those who are benefited by imprisonment, are men 
who come here, little corrupted, for a first fault, caused by 
intemperance, or hasty passion ; at least, the exceptions are 
rare. If we meet again, I shall give you some queer sam 
ples of prison Christians ! One died some time ago. He 
worked in our room. I was not aware of his death and dis 
section, till weeks after. There are no funeral solemnities. 
A man dies, and the doctor takes his body ; and, after a time, 
perhaps weeks, his death is whispered around the prison. 
Well, if God has his hidden ones here, He does not forget 
them ; and ANGELS do not disregard their death, or entrance 
into the spirit world, whither we are all hastening. Our new 
warden, Mr. William Johnson, just appointed to his office, 
handed me your last letter, a day or two since, and I could 
not forbear writing, at once, though I am not exactly ready 
to say all I wish, not having seen Dr. Breckenridge, who 
called a fortnight ago, but did not get admission, having Mr 
M. in his company, or for some other reason. Your letter 
refers to another ; in which you say you spoke of dear Ma 
ry s illness. That letter I have not received. I presume it 
was written on the reception of mine. Please address the 
person to whose care it was enclosed, and see what became of 
it. It has not been received. I have had two letters from 
you, that in January, and the one last week; direct them 
hereafter, Asa Child, Esq., for C. T. T, simply, and I 


think there will be no more losses. They are losses, greater 
than you can well know. I was thinking to-day of my 
reasures, counting my little store of letters one of the choic 
est. I often read them over. I had a most affectionate and 
brotherly letter a few weeks since, from Gerrit Smith, full of 
consolation and instruction, as his letters always are. Singu 
lar enough, he earnestly pressed on me, the perusal of Silvio 
Pellico s My Prisons, which, you will remember, was the 
first book I read, after I came here. It is a most admirable 
volume. There is a wonderful charm in its entire honesty of 
confession of one s feelings and failings. Why should he be 
so ashamed of frank confession ? I know I have taken almost 
as much satisfaction in the candid confession of an error I 
regretted, as in the doing of right actions Nothing else 
brings a sinner near to God. And, though our fellow sinners 
sometimes sneer at it, that does not detract from our conse 
quent peace of mind. I miss that absent letter very much; 
for I presume it contained something about your book, and 
my Home also, of which your two letters, which I have 
received, give me no information as well as about your 
plans, doings and prospects all of which are not among the 
articles of the Index Expurgatoria of the prison. Perhaps 
I value my Ms. of Home more highly than the booksel 
lers will be likely to do, though I am confident it is, by far, 
the best thing I ever wrote for the press ; and you know I 
have written some things that other people, good judges, 
pronounced good. But the vanity of authorship is poor 
comfort, inside of prison walls. You will, if you have not, 
goon receive an important letter from our friend, A. C. One 
of his proposals, respecting my liberation, viz., a purchase of 
it, by a compromise with certain persons, he will doubtless in 
form you, does not meet my approbation, though it would 
certainly succeed at a very early day. I am not poor enough 
yet, though a penniless prisoner, to sell my cherished princi 
ples for liberty. The other proposal, which invokes certain 


movements on your part, and that of my prominent WHIG 
friends, both in New England and New York, and perhaps, 
Ohio, I approve of, and hope it will be used effectually, when 
the proper time arrives. But do not suppose I am in haste 
about it. Much as I value freedom, and the many, many 
and rich blessings God has so wisely connected with it, I 
shall be very patient; and wish my friends to act at the best 
time, and in the wisest way. I am not without hopes that the 
new directors, two of whom at least, are Christians, will al 
low the introduction of more decided religious influences into 
the prison. If we could have a Sabbath School, and a judi 
cious, faithful chaplain, such as they have in Charlestown, 
under the care of brother Curtis, it would be a great blessing 
to many. The most hardened men in prison, have their 
hours of sorrow, when the faithful chaplain, constantly pres 
ent, could gain access to their softened spirits. It is one of 
my trials of spirit, that when I see men so softened, and ready 
to receive, if ever, the seed of the gospel, I cannot speak a 
word to them. I can pray, and for a long time my heart has 
not been so much drawn out in prayer for any blessing, as it 
has for the outpouring of God s spirit on these poor men. 

" My health remains good, compared with what it was in the 
jail ; though for two or three weeks I have been struggling 
with acute pains, and febrile symptoms. But God helping 
me, I do not mean to be sick. It is no place to be sick, in 
prison, as I am well satisfied by Utter experience ; though 
even there, God gave me peace in my spirit, when reason 
was nearly dethroned, and I had little hope of life, and less 
desire for it. The neuralgia gives me rather more pain than 
when you was here. But * I am well, in prison dialect, so 
do not concern yourself about it my peace flows as a river, 
most of the time, and I am able to be cheerful, which is per 
haps the hardest thing for a prisoner, cut off from all the or 
dinary motives to human action. Like the servant, one must 
work for Christ, to perform thankless labor well and con- 


stantly. I suppose I maybe called a good warper now, an 
attainment in science I little dreamed of a year ago ! As a 
matter of convenience, I have adopted your hour for evening 
devotion ; so we can more literally meet together, when we 
plead for the mercies we need, at the day s close. I try to 
think of you, and dear Charles and Mary, as kneeling with 
me, and pray to our Father as the God of the family cove 
nant. I find little time to read, as yet. The long hours of 
the evening we pass in darkness. This is the source of more 
sin, of more suffering and evil than almost all things else in 
prison. But I find time to read His Word daily. I am 
studying the Old Testament, in course, by the help of the 
references of the small Polyglot. I have reached Exodus 
xxvi. The New Testament I began, for devotional reading, 
and have reached Luke xviii, I know you will be interested 
in these trifles, so will our dear children. 

" When you write G. Smith, tell him how much I thank 
him for his letter, and especially for his reproofs. I 
love him very much as a faithful Christian. I wish I could 
reply to his letter, but I cannot. I am very happy to hear of 
our dear little ones. May God preserve their health, and fill 
them with his love, and lead them early to seek his face. 
Their conversion to Christ now, in childhood, has been much 
on my heart, for weeks past. Tell me more of your literary 
avocations. Enable me to look into your little house, and 
see what you are about from day to day. I wish I could 
help you in your pursuits ; but of this there is very little 
prospect. Mark it : I am not at all sanguine of the success 
of any plan for my liberation, not involving disgraceful denial 
of principles, which cannot be submitted to. I have reason to 
think that the same clan of evil men, who so nearly destroy 
ed my good name among the Christian people of the city, 
are still busy at their work. You know the proverb * to 
justify one lie requires twenty ! And I know that the feel 
ing, in certain quarters, is exceedingly bitter against me. I 


think the publication of my review of the trial, will do much 
to set candid and decent men here, right on various points. 
But I may still be doomed to live and die here. That I shall 
live here, six years, or three, is too much to hope. The seeds 
of disease sown in my feeble frame, in that horrible jail, are 
not very likely to be rooted out here, where seventy-three per 
cent, of the convicts died, the very last year one in eight. 
The causes of ill health in this prison are, chiefly, such as 
may easily be removed ; but it is hardly probable they will 
be, till public feeling is cleansed of the feeling the words 

* good enough for prisoners express. I do not dwell on these 
matters do not care for them. Whether you or I go to 
Heaven Jirst, will be of no great moment ; and whether we 
go from prison or a palace will make no difference in our joy 
in the world of light, where Christ is, and where we shall 

* be satisfied with his likeness." I have read a volume of 
Wm. Jay s sermons, most of Meikle s * Solitude Sweetened, 
and some other choice books, since January 1st. Even a few 
minutes a day will enable us to read much. And when I feel 
my mind half starved for profitable reading, I resort to the 
Book of books. How rich it is ! The new officers of the 
prison, except some Inspectors and the Warden, are not yet 
appointed. I can only hope they will be Christians, as well 
as vigilant officers ; men who will never forget the man 
and the brother in the prisoner, and often, the very guilty 
man. I want very much an Italian Bible. None can be 
had in Baltimore. Can you get me one from the Am. B. 
S. in New York, and have it sent to Mr. Child, by Express 
or private hand ? It will cost about $1,25; my friend, C. 
Stockton Halstead, merchant in New York city, if you write 
him, will gladly send me one. G. Smith renews the assur 
ances that my many friends will not suffer you and our chil 
dren to want. In these days of war and public agitation, in 
dividual interests are easily forgotten. But God will provide, 
if we cheerfully put our trust in Him ; < all things are ours, 


because they are His, and He controls them at His pleasure 
for our good. Remember, Mr. L. is no longer at W., so di 
rect your letters to this city hereafter, post paid, as before. 

" Winter is broken here, and we are beginning to have 
green grass, while snow and ice are all around you. Soon I 
shall see sweet fields of living green from my window, 
daily. May they ever remind us of the fields beyond the ken 
of sense, where we shall soon walk in white, if we are 
found worthy. I have still very much to say, but darkness 
has come and long weeks must pass before I again am al 
lowed to give you a word of cheer. But if we are near to 
God, we shall be near to each other. God bless you, and 
our dear children, and our many kind friends who have not 
forgotten us in the day of our need. 
" I am your affectionate husband, 


"Baltimore Penitentiary, March 9, 1845. 

"My Dear Wife, Your missing letter was handed me by 
our kind Warden, on Monday or Tuesday last. I had been 
repining about it, for a prisoner repines about matters that a 
freeman will be very submissive under ; but when I read it, 
I sat down to weep tears, both of gratitude to God, and of 
self-reproach at my murmuring. God bless you and our dear 
children for all your love, and your prayers. He answers 
them, by giving me peace and joy in Christ Jesus. The past 
week there was an administration of the sacraments of bap 
tism, the supper, and the rite of confirmation, by the Episco 
pal Bishop. Several prisoners received these ordinances. It 
is to be hoped that the hearts of many were truly filled with 
the grace of God. But inside of prison walls, it is perhaps 
harder to * discern between the righteous and the wicked, 
than it is in freedom. 

" Our old friend, Jarnes N. Buffum, formerly of Lynn, 
called to see me this week, but too early in the morning to 


be admitted. He left a kind note. Any of ray friends who 
may chance to be in Baltimore, can get a permit from one of 
the directors to see me. God be with you ! I have a whole 
heart full to write, of the goodness of the Lord to me. This 
week has been a constant spiritual feast to my spirit. I joy 
in the God of my salvation. May His Holy Spirit so fill 
your heart and mind ! and may our dear little ones learn to 
praise Him ! Tell them that our Saviour comes every day 
to visit their father, in his prison, and fill his heart with 
peace. And He will make them children of His love, if 
they ask Him with all their heart. I meant to refer our dear 
friend, G. S., to some sweet thoughts in Burder s Sermons 
for the Aged, on losing one s sight. He writes me that it is 
fast failing him. By the way, I wish you to regard it as a 
general rule, not to publish my letters, while I remain here. 
Anything my friends wish to know, from time to time, 
you can publish. But any other course will restrict the free 
dom of our intercourse, arid besides, is not necessary for any 
important end. If this is regarded, the Warden will lay no 
other, unnecessary, restriction upon it. I believe he is very 
kindly disposed towards me, though I have had very little in 
tercourse with him. My best love to all my friends, in and 
out of our family circle tell them to pray for prisoners. 
Christ did not despise them. He came to open the prison 
doors, by imparting salvation to them. Those whom men 
despise, Jesus pities and weeps over. I think the Holy Spir 
it is manifestly at work in this prison, on some hearts. What 
is he not able to do ? I need not say how near my heart 
you and our children are, at all times, especially in my 
prayers before our Father. 

I am yours with affection, 


" Baltimore Penitentiary, April 29, 1845. 
My dear wife, You will naturally think that I have taken 


a long time to consider whether I should make the pledge 
required of me, in your letter of April 1. But Mr. Child did 
not deliver it till day before yesterday, having detained it to 
consult certain gentlemen here, on the topics to which you re 
fer. I commence my reply in such a state of bodily weakness 
and pain as to make it pretty certain I shall not be able to 
finish it to-day. I am suffering from a severe attack of my old 
foe, the neuralgia. The disease and the remedies, such as 
bleeding, blisters, etc., have, in two or three weeks, made me 
much more feeble than I was when you first came to Balti 
more, last fall. And, though Dr. Gibson, the new physician 
of the penitentiary is reputed, and J think justly, somewhat 
eminent in his profession, I do not consider the prospect of re 
covering my health at all cheering. However, do not be 
alarmed or disheartened. The same kind and glorious Sa 
vior, who has filled me with all joy and peace in believing, 
since my imprisonment here, to a degree without precedent 
in my life, will do all things well. If He has any use for me, 
both my bodily and mental powers will be restored and pre 
served. If not, let us say, It is the Lord : let him do what 
seemeth good in His sight. I need not say, that whatever 
consists with the discipline of the prison will be done for my 
comfort and restoration, little as prison life is adapted to meet 
the wants of a neuralgic patient. If it shall please God to call 
me home from this place, I shall not complain. And some 
times I do long to be free from the body, and to be present 
with the Lord. This week, I am not able to read ; and my 
mind begins to act upon itself, as it did before ; so that I long 
to stop thinking. Still I am not unhappy, on the whole ; 
and when my mind can fix itself on Christ, 1 find my heart is 
there. You will see that I am not in the best condition to 
consider anew, and decide on the various questions connected 
with my possible release. So far as my return to the South, 
with reference to aiding slaves to escape, I have no hesitation 
in saying, that I have no purpose, plan, wish or intention to 


do so, in case of my release from that imprisonment to which 
perjury consigned me. It would be highly unjust to you, to 
my children, to my friends who have dealt so generously with 
me and mine, for me to expose myself, in any way, a second 
time, to such results, and you to such sufferings. If it pleases 
God to open my prison doors, it is due to your tried affection 
that I should give you all the assurance you can derive from 
what you know of my naturally inflexible character, that no 
such hazards to you and our children shall be incurred. Had 
you asked such a pledge, when here, without the remotest 
reference to my freedom, it should have been freely given, 
though I am perfectly aware that in making it I destroy a 
large portion of my public influence. And, I must frankly add, 
I do not believe it will be of any avail. It may satisfy the 
scruples of certain gentlemen in Massachusetts, whose influ 
ence is desirable. But men like Linus Child and Gov. Lincoln, 
who know my character well, must be perfectly aware, that I 
would do anything consistent with straight forward honesty, 
to save you from the trials incident to my condition. But the 
demand for concessions here, is much more serious. My for 
mer influence I am ready to resign. My future life, if freed, 
will be one of toil and, to me, of much suffering, more so than 
you, my dear wife, will ever know. I do not know that my 
imprisonment has lost me any friends, for whom I cared ; it 
has gained me many, in all lands. But if you recall one of our 
last conversations, you will know to what class of sufferings I 
refer. But God will give me strength for what may be be 
fore me, if life is continued. But the demand for a sacrifice 
of my integrity, is renewed here, in the most offensive form, 
though with an abundance of kind words, and very evident 
kind feelings towards me. It is the same demand made in the 
jail, as a condition of release, the rejection of which I ap 
prized you, at the time. How can I assent to doctrines to 
which my heart, my conscience, and my matured judgment, 
based on careful examination, when no possible motive of self- 



interest could bias me, led me to reject, as opposed to the Bi 
ble and to right reason? I may be very erroneous in my 
views, for I am a public man. But this is no place, nor am I 
in a condition to review my settled views respecting the rela 
tions of Christianity to those civil laws which are contrary 
to natural justice and the law of God ? What is required of 
me here, goes, in fact, the whole length of admitting the 
riyhtfulness of the views of the religious bodies, calling them 
selves churches/ which have so far departed from the sim 
plicity of the gospel as to tolerate slavery in their bosom. 
To be sure, it is not presented in exactly that form ; it is 
clothed in terms not offensive ; but what are mere words ? 
Shall I, for the sake of escaping a prison for the short remnant 
of my life, do an act so basely selfish as to sign what I believe 
Christ abhors ? When in jail, some Christian men, of pretty 
high standing, endeavored to persuade me that I might sign a 
document so equivocal that it might bear two constructions, 
a Southern and a Northern one, like a politician s letter be 
fore an election. Our worthy friend Child will not urge such 
duplicity, nor do I suppose he thinks me capable of it. I 
would not write all this, my dear wife, but I feel it is neces 
sary to prepare you for a very probable disappointment of all 
his very wise plans for rny release ; very wise, provided I 
was not troubled with a conscience, an understanding, and a 
heart of my own, but could become a nose of wax to be 
moulded by circumstances, selfish interests, and other men s 
opinions. You may be sure that I will refuse nothing which 
I can possibly assent to, with honesty ; but my present opin 
ion is, that more than this is demanded of me. It is better to 
die in prison, with the peace of God in our hearts, than to live 
in freedom, with a polluted conscience. I find Mr. C. still 
goes on with the plan of compromising with H. and B. T., in 
spite of my abhorrence of it. It is a severe trial to me not to 
forbid it, altogether. Cooperate in it, I will not. I trust your 
hands will be kept pure, and your father s also. Released in 


such a way, I must feel a slave so long as such a pecuniary obli 
gation rests on me. But for your sake, I had rather die here 
than suffer it. I told Mr. C, that all I could promise was not to 
forbid those who could do such a thing, with a good conscience. 
But it burdens my spirit. That I feel deeply grateful for all 
the kindness of our friends, my daily prayers bear witness. 
I hope they will be guided so as to do nothing for my re 
lease which God cannot approve ; and that they will pray 
that / may be kept from sacrificing a good conscience to ob 
tain freedom from temporal sufferings. 

"April 30. You will see by the ink, where weakness com 
pelled me to stop yesterday. To-day I feel somewhat better, 
though the disease is not affected. I take pretty strong doses 
of tincture of digitalis, a remedy which is always gradual in 
its effects. But I expect no more from it than I received in 
1835, viz. nothing. However, the Lord will order all things 
well. I have a great deal to write, far more than my paper 
will hold. Thank you very much for the Bible, (which Mr. 
C. has not sent over yet). I will try to make no more calls 
on you, at present. Ever since I read Sismondi s Literature 
of the South of Europe, I have had a strong desire to be fa 
miliar with the Italian. Now I can hardly enjoy Italian po 
etry. But two perusals of the Bible will give me an entire 
command of the language. This was Elihu Burritt s plan. If 
I am here, living and well, I mean to acquire at least one new 
language a year, taking German next. Dr. Snodgrass made 
me a very kind call some days since, and offered to supply 
me with books, regularly. I trust < Home will do good. I 
have no doubt it will be very widely read, on both sides of 
the big pond, as well as in dear Scituate. How many hours, 
in rny prison, have I spent in recalling the incidents, scenes, 
and friends of my childhood ! Many incidents of my child 
hood, connected with aunt Fanny, grandmother, cousin Debo 
rah, my school-mates, the old houses and families of S. ; 
things forgotten for twenty-five years, have affected me very 


much. Pray send the pamphlets you speak of about Scituate 
affairs. There will be no trouble about them. Send directly 
to the care of the warden, Mr. Wm. Johnson, post-paid, of 
course. I am very glad you read the manuscript of Home* 
to grandmother, and (I suppose) to the rest of the family cir 
cle. I should be glad to write to them and to aunt Fanny. 
But you must assure her and them all that I remember them 
often, and with affection, grateful for all their love and their 
prayers for me. Nothing has made me feel so humble 
as the fact that so many, not our relations only, or the 
many poor who bless me, but all over our land prayed 
for me. What am I ? How do I deserve their love ? But 
God will bless them according to all that is in their hearts 
towards me. Our dear friends, John P. Jewett and his wife, 
with their little child which I baptized, and a troop of her 
Baltimore relatives, made me a very kind visit, some time 
since. He afterwards sent me some very acceptable books ; 
Howitt s Rural and Domestic Life in Germany, is one. 
John promised to see you and write me. He is somewhat 
feeble still. But you have probably seen them, so I am writ 
ing old news. I have read another book, with great satisfac 
tion. You must read it : Henrich Stilling s Autobiography. 
Translations of some choice gems of his poetry you have read. 
But this gives the single hearted Christian, ever full of trust 
in God and active usefulness. You can buy it for twenty- 
five cents. It has all the charm of the Pilgrim s Progress to 
a Christian mind. My old friend, Benjamin O. Bacon, called 
two weeks ago, and brought me an affectionate letter from 
that good man, Henry Grew, together with kind remem 
brances from all my Philadelphia friends. Some others have 
called on me, but none whom you ever saw, or know much 
about. So I will not speak of them in detail. I am one of 
seventeen in a large room, about forty feet square, in the old 
prison. Two or three poor men are evidently very near to 
death, though very little conscious of it, or, I fear, prepared 


to meet its issues. The death of a sinner is fearful always. 
But for such an one to die in prison, deprived of human sym 
pathy, is even more shocking. Others are the subjects of va 
rious kinds and degrees of illness. But all feeling that if they 
were free they might soon recover. How natural ! No doubt, 
in many cases, it might be so. But we are reluctant to learn 
the lesson of our mortality. Mr. Child and Mr. Gallagher 
will write you respecting their interviews with me, with vari 
ous matters of interest. You might have spared the trouble 
of your letter to G., as Mr. Cox perused and corrected my 
manuscript before it was sent; and, indeed, before the final 
copy of it was made, in which all points he deemed even doubt 
ful were omitted. The signatures of any number of promi 
nent men can be obtained by our Boston friends, by a simple 
circular to such men as Jas. G. Carter, Win. Reed, Wm. Jack 
son, etc. Nor have I any doubt that they can have the 
names of all the members of both houses of the legislature by 
similar means. Mr. C. is rather disposed to mystify me in 
regard to the source of the means of compromising with H. 
and B. T. I care not to know it at present. But TAKE CARE 
to whom you make me a bondman, if I must come under a 
bondage so hateful. If I may live to return to every human 
being all the obligations I have received, I shall be ready to 
die. Nor do I think it pride that leads me to such feelings, 
though it may be. I would owe no man anything but to love 
one another, if possible. My foes here, finding their old 
slanders losing their power, have recently sent out a new edi 
tion ; to meet which it may become necessary to send to Can 
ada. But if these were met, they would coin new ones. 
The devil, in this State, is come down in great wrath, 
knowing that his time is short. And some of the good people 
are much frightened at his raging, and are very sorry that his 
wrath was provoked. You understand me. The last two months 
have witnessed many improvements, completed or in pro 
gress, in the treatment and condition of the prisoners. And 



the effect on most of them is very happy. Some of them won 
der, and say, it is too good to last. Others ascribe it to the 
politics of the officers. But others have sense enough to see it 
is the result of Christian principle. You will be glad to know 
that Mr. Winne, the jail gate keeper, who was so kind to you 
and to me, is one of the new officers. He is a man of prayer. 
Several others of the subordinate officers seem to be decided 
Christians. T think several prisoners have been awakened, 
and, I hope, led to the Savior, since January. But prison piety 
is a feeble, sickly plant at best ; and much of it feigned. Even 
when it is real, it presents strange contrasts. You cannot con 
ceive of minds so low-lived, ignorant and debased, that even 
sincere penitence does not show them the evil of vulgar ribald 
ry ! and even of things worse than that ! Had my avoca 
tions and journeyings not brought me in contact with the 
same low life, the better shades of which Dickens loves to de 
pict, I could riot believe such things existed in our land. A 
few of the prisoners belong to a higher class, and only a few. 
I thank my dear little Charles and Mary for their kind mes 
sages to father. May our heavenly Father bless them with 
his Holy Spirit, that they may love Him, and love to do good 
to all men. May He graciously keep them from all evil, 
from sin and suffering. I want to hear that they are both 
very good children, and that they try, every day, to please God. 
Sin will kindle a fire which cannot be put out, like the fire in 
Mrs. H. s barn, if Charles does not get the love of sin out of 
his heart. But our Savior will help him, if he prays to him. 
I hope they both try to make mother happy, by obedience, and 
kindness to her and to every one. You do not refer to pecu 
niary matters at all. 1 can only hope that, in accordance 
with the assurances others have made me, God has provided 
amply for your present need. Still trust Him, and do good, 
and verily thou shalt be fed. God chooses his own way to 
provide for us ; but his promises will not fail to secure to us 
all that is really for our welfare. Why should we wish for 


more ? Give my respects to Mrs. H. I am sorry for her 
loss ; if she was poor, I should pity her. As it is, it is only a 
gentle warning to use her ample means more singly for God. 
We all need such hints. I have been much humbled by re 
viewing my life, and discovering, not merely so much sin, but 
so many selfish and low motives connected even with the acts 
and plans for the good of others which I thought most in ac 
cordance with God s will. Ah ! those who praise us, see 
very little of our hearts, as they appear in God s holy eyes ! 
4 Cleanse thou me from secret faults. Mr. Cain, one of the 
pious officers, some time ago loaned ine a very searching vol 
ume, written by Solomon Stoddard : The Safety of appear 
ing in the Righteousness of Christ at the Day of Judgment. 
Like the other writings of that great man, it is tinctured with 
his errors and those of his time. But it is very instructive ; 
and the closing portions are fitted to test one s hopes for eter 
nity, as much as Edwards on the Affections, if not more so. 
In one of uncle Wm. T. T. s letters, you will find the same 
feelings expressed by him, and also by one of the best men in 
western New York, that uncle T. showed. May God bless 
and accept it from them. 

" Whenever Home is printed, I wish you would send me 
two or three copies of it. And I have half a mind to say 
that I will not be glad to see any friend who does not bring 
some book with him ! But I am not quite so badly off as that. 
Some of the prisoners have a supply of books, though nearly 
half are unable to read. There are about 265 here, male 
and female. 

"I am glad to learn Charles is industrious. It is the 
road to honor ; but idleness brings shame. Now a hint. 
Your letters improve in adaptation to my wants, in variety of 
items such as I wish and need to know. But the writing grows 
nearly as illegible as mine ! and puzzles our kind warden to 
decipher it. My writing, of course, is beyond reforming ! 


I don t know that I can write you again before July, unless 
some business item requires it, or my health declines still 
more. Write as often as it is convenient. My best love to 
all friends. I cannot name them in detail. If you have a fa 
vorable opportunity, 1 wish you would send me my little 
Greek New Testament with the small lexicon. It has been 
my pocket companion many a weary mile, in years past, and 
I often want it, now, to refer to. Farewell ! May our cove 
nant keeping God and Savior give you richly to enjoy all the 
blessings of his grace and love. When you pray for me, do 
not forget my poor fellow prisoners also. I am yours, with 
affection, CHARLES T. TORREY." 

" May 1, 1845. I must add a few of my rhymes, though 
I began them in a measure so difficult, that my sick head 
could not beat harmony into them. 

" Sweet spring flowers ! sweet spring flowers 

On the distant hills I see. 

And the valley of Belvidere 
Is clothed with a carpet of green. 
No bounding walls of granite, I ween, 

That shut up my body, here, . 
Can bid the winds stop wafting to me 
The sweets of their perfumed bowers. 

I may not walk beneath the shade 

Of yonder greenwood trees ; 

I may not twine for Mary s hair 
A garland of beauty and love, 
And bind it her brows above ; 

That all the viewless spirits of air 
Shall love to linger, like honey bees, 
Round the garland I made. 

Yet I love their colors, so gay, 

And rich perfumes they bring; 

I love the sounds of joy 
That rise from that brilliant parterre. 
My spirit oft wandereth there, 


And, freed from each care and alloy, 
With thee rejoices to sing 
A hymn to the sweet bonny May. 

Sweet May ! the emblem of love ! 

Her many opening flowers, 

Her songs from every tree, 
Her gentle breath and sunny smile, 
The prisoner of half his woes beguile : 

She maketh his spirit free ! 
He counts no more the weary hours, 
He walks in the garden above ! 

" I can think of no close to my poor rhymes but that sweet 
verse commencing, 

" There everlasting spring abides, 
And ever opening flowers, etc., 

which little Mary can repeat to her mother. So again, farewell ! 

C. T. T. 



We have now accompanied Mr. Torrey through nearly 
one whole year of imprisonment and suffering. How he 
bears himself, the reader has seen. It will be interesting to 
know what streams of sympathy and consolation were trick 
ling in through the walls of his prison, to comfort and cheer 
the lonely sufferer. 

From the day it was known that he had been arraigned at 
Baltimore, a wide and deep interest was felt in his behalf. 
This feeling manifested itself in furnishing nearly a thousand 
dollars to be expended in his defence and for his deliverance. 

The following letters are published entirely upon the re 
sponsibility of the editor. Justice to some of the parties, in 


his opinion, would be satisfied with nothing less ; and he feels 
confident they will be read with interest. 

" Washington City, Jan. 1, 1845. 

" Dear Torrey, I wish you a happy new year ! Strange 
salutation, you say, for a poor prisoner, clad in sackcloth, fed 
on the coarsest food, cut off from society, and even from litera 
ry delights, and bending his feeble frame to hard labor in a 
penitentiary. But why, my dear Charles, should you not 
have a happy new year ? Let those be unhappy who have 
committed crime. Let those be unhappy who have no hope 
in our atoning, and interceding, arid present Savior. Let 
those be unhappy, who know that God is not their God. 
What are the coarse garments call them riches, and say to 
yourself, that you are dressed in the height of fashion, and 
they will give you sweeter satisfaction than all the gorgeous 
apparel I have to-day seen at the White House. And the 
prison fare, with peace of conscience, will relish sweeter far, 
than the richest dainties, seasoned with remorse. And further 
more, you are not so reduced, after all, as He, who had not 
where to lay his head, so I say again a happy new year to 
you. And may each returning new year s day, which brings 
nearer and nearer the overthrow of slavery, not only in Ma 
ryland, but throughout our country, make the remembrance 
sweeter and sweeter to your soul, that you have done what 
you could, to bring it about. I am not trifling with you, or 
making a mock at calamity, therefore, when I do sincerely 
bid you a happy new year ! And I sat down to pen this let 
ter, thinking it might perhaps not be unseasonable or unac 
ceptable, and I pray you to accept it as a token of my broth 
erly kindness, and a pledge that I shall leave nothing untried, 
which is within my power, to hasten the period when the 
prison doors shall open again to let you out into the world, to 
participate in the destinies of the age, and to enjoy the sweets 
of friends and home. 


" I have received yours of Saturday, and will lose no time 
in attending to the matter, to the best of my ability. I have 
received an encouraging letter from Mr. Child rather so. 
But do not be impatient. Do just what is right, and wait 
like a man for the result. Make everything as pleasant as 
you can in the prison, both for yourself and all others. It 
is the way to find favor with God and man. Good night. 
Your affectionate brother, 


"Baltimore, Jan. 19, 1845. 

" My Dear Leavitt, I thank you heartily for your new 
year s salutation ! I had like to have been deprived of the 
privilege of reading it, on account of your allusions to sla 
very ! And now I can write you only on business matters ; 
on no other topics can I write to any but my wife ; and to 
her only once in three months. However, I can receive let 
ters of affection, provided they give me no information as to 
what is passing in the living world without. 

" I am civilly (most uncivilly I think it) dead to the world, 
while in these tombs. But I am happy, thanks to our mer 
ciful Savior, on the whole. I pray you assure our brethren 
of my hearty gratitude for your kindness. If God protracts 
my life, and gives me rational freedom, I hope to prove it by 
substantial service." 

" You exhort me to be patient in regard to the measures 
for my deliverance. I will, God helping me. I have not 
yet seen Mr. C., though I am promised an interview next 
week, when I hope to know something definite in regard to it. 

"My health is improved on the whole. The officers are 
all very kind ; as much so as their system allows, probably. 

" God bless you, and my friends who are free to good. 
Aye, there s the hardship of a prison to me ; a useless life. 
Farewell ! I am afraid I am now trespassing too far on the 


limits of a business letter. I am yours, very truly and grate 

" Peterboro , Feb. 7, 1845. 

" My Dear Brother, I am at my house to-day, instead of my 
office. Together with my family, I am observing this day as 
a day of fasting, humiliation and prayer, with reference to the 
state and prospects of our country. Others are observing the 
day in a similar manner. 

" You are much in my thoughts, and I was made very 
happy the other evening, by seeing in the newspapers, that 
you were allowed to receive letters from your friends, provi 
ded such letters were silent on this, that, and the other topic. 
I regret the restrictions, but even with them, it is a pleasure 
to write to you and guarded and constrained as must be 
my letter, it will doubtless afford you some pleasure to 
read it. 

" I and mine are, through Divine mercy, in good health. 
My eye sight, which has been seriously affected for several 
years, has of late failed quite fast. It would not be strange 
if I should become blind in a few years. Possibly, the shut 
ting up of my outward sight is God s way for opening my in 
ward eye the eye of the soul, as Baxter (if I recollect) 
calls the eye of faith. 

Sweet to lie passive in His hands, 
And know no will but His. 

That sweetness may you and I know. 

" Your own family are I believe in good health. I have 
sent your dear wife the letters you wrote me from the Balti 
more Jail. You need have no concern that your wife and 
children will not be well provided for. Multitudes of friends 
are already ministering to them. God will take care of them. 


" And now, is it well with thee ? I learn that you are 
in a State Prison, and shut up from seeing wife, children, 
friends from preaching the gospel from your other benev 
olent labors from your literary pursuits ; nevertheless, I 
suppose it may be well with thee hence I ask, is it well 
with thee ? 

" If, my dear brother, you are fully and sweetly resigned 
to all the Lord s will, then it is * well with you, and all these 
things that you are called to suffer are light afflictions. So 
you have preached so you have called on others to feel 
and so, I trust, you now feel yourself. God is emphatically 
testing you. He is trying whether you will learn, in your 
own person, the reduction to practice of your own preaching > 
God s grace is sufficient to make your cell, your toil, and all 
your privations, dear and precious to you. This you be 
lieved, before your confinement and this, I hope, you are 
now experiencing the truth of. 

" I am happy to see by the newspapers, that you have been 
favored in the kind of labor assigned to you. I suppose your 
food is palatable and healthful, though coarse. I presume that 
you have a copy of the Bible and I am not entirely without 
hope that you are permitted to read other good books. You are 
not badly off however in respect to reading, if you are allow 
ed to read but one book, so long as that book is the best of 
books. When I think of the rigid necessity you are under 
to read and study the Bible, and make all its letter, as well as 
its spirit and meaning, your own, I almost envy you that ne 
cessity, and the confinement which occasions it. I hope that 
your keepers are kind-hearted that they love you, and that 
you love them. If they are not Christians, God grant that your 
words and ways may be such as to win them to Christ. Give 
them my love, if you are allowed to do so, and tell them that 
my fervent prayer to God is, that He would return into their 
own bosoms a hundred fold for all the kindness which they 
may show to my dear and afflicted brother Torrey. Tell 


them that I very much desire that they should read, and if 
consistent with their duty, let you read the book entitled * Sil 
vio Pellico. The book gives a most interesting account of 
Silvio s confinement in prison. It costs but two shillings 
and the reading of the exercises of this Christian poet will 
render any Christian a better Christian. Greatly do my 
dear wife and I desire that you may be allowed to read this 

" I hope you never indulge the thought that you would es 
cape from the prison, if you could. I have not yet ceased 
to be sorry that you attempted to break jail. For the profit 
of your soul, I wish you to study and practise contentment in 
your hard lot. For the honor of the gospel, which you pro 
fess, and for the benefit of the dear cause and interests with 
which your name is so honorably identified, I trust it is to ap 
pear that Charles T. Torrey is eminently patient under all 
the burdens God lays upon him. Remember, my dear brother, 
that along with your vigorous mind and liberal education, 
you have the fault of a naturally proud spirit. Grace had 
done much to conquer it before you entered your prison but 
grace is to complete this work in your prison. What a merci 
ful confinement, if you shall come out of it as subdued and 
childlike as the gospel requires you to be, as subdued and 
childlike as implicit faith in the Saviour will render you ! 

" Be of good cheer, my dear brother ! Keep a brave heart ! 
If you have to remain in prison six years, it will do you no 
harm, if you love God. But you will not be there so long. 
The justice and mercy of Maryland will not let you remain 
there half that length of time. My wife joins me in love 
to you. Your friend and brother, 


" P. S. I write this letter in the Library the room in 
which you wrote so many hours, a year ago last July. 

"If they, whose duty it is to read this letter before you can 


read it, see any thing wrong in it, let them inform me what it 
is, in a letter, (postage unpaid,) and I will avoid the error in 
my future letters to you." 

" January 15, 1845. 

" My Dear Husband, I have not written to you before, 
because I have not received that letter from you, which you 
promised to send me, which you said would inform me to 
whom I might entrust my letters, and also many other circum 
stances about your imprisonment in the Penitentiary, which 
you said you could ascertain before you went there. I have 
received several letters from you, and as none of them con 
tained these particulars, I conclude you forgot that you prom 
ised to write them to me. In consequence of this failure I 
should not have ventured to write to you now, without first 
addressing Mr. Johnson upon the subject, had not Mr. Leavitt 
very kindly written to me, and informed me that I can for the 
present send them to him, and he will see that they are sent to 

" I hear that you have gone to the Penitentiary ! And 
though I feel it still more even, than I thought I should, still, 
I would entreat you to be of good cheer. Your imprisonment 
may be the means of great good, and God grant that it may 
not be long ! 

" Our dear children often weep when they speak of their 
dear father, and anxiously inquire, * how long will it be before 
father will come home? And when I present the mo 
tive of their father s approbation, as an incentive to good 
conduct, I find it one of the most powerful means to induce 
them to do well. 

" How I wish I could look in upon you and see how you 
are situated. But I fear it would only make me and you 
feel worse. I have not yet received all your papers, but 
hope to do so soon. If nothing happens to prevent, I shall 
commence to-morrow looking over your papers preparato- 


ry to editing that book, and be assured I will do the best 
I can. 

" I wish to repeat it, be as cheerful as you can, in this try 
ing time, and in patience possess your soul. This is the 
Lord s doing, we both believe, though man be not guiltless in 
placing you here, and let us both be apt scholars in learning 
the lesson which God in this providence would teach. In the 
light of eternity, I think we shall wonder that we did not see 
here, what a rich boon our afflictions are, inasmuch as we 
practically learn by them, that all things below are vanity, 
and that God is the only true fountain and source of bliss. 
With the presence of this heavenly guest, your prison may 
become a palace. I tremble, when I think of the striking 
providences in which God has dealt with us ! And He means 
something by them ! Let us in some measure understand the 
counsels of the Almighty in this respect, as far, I mean, as is 
proper, and improve by them as He intended we should ; 
for, tremendous are the responsibilities of those who have had 
great opportunities for learning their duty, and the vanity of 
the world! whether these opportunities be merciful or af 
flictive. Alexis s health is better than when I wrote you last, 
and the doctor has given him some hopes of recovery. When 
the doctor said this, Alexis looked disappointed. He had 
made up his mind to die, and the world looked to him as a 
bubble, and he desired not to remain in it any longer. Now, 
he seems pleased somewhat with a prospect of life, but says, 
he has nothing to say, but leaves the matter entirely with God. 

" By the way, in several of your letters you speak of not 
hearing from me ; and I strongly suspect that my letter has not 
reached you. Well, let those who would intercept my let 
ters to you, have it, if they will. I wrote nothing, as I can 
recollect, that would be objectionable to any one. But do not 
think I shall neglect you. I will write as often as I can be 
allowed to, and shall never cease to speak of you to the chil 
dren, or remember you in my supplications at the throne of 


grace ; we can meet there, notwithstanding the distance there 
is between us, and the. thickness of the prison wall. 

" Remember that your health depends upon your spirits, 
and unless you can keep them up, you will not be so likely 
to endure your captivity. Let then, the determination not to 
be sacrificed upon the altar of Slavery, keep up your spirits 
till the joyful day shall come, when the term for which you 
are imprisoned shall be at an end. In God, you can do all 
things ; then trust in Him to sustain you till the end. Write 
to me, if the Warden will permit you to do so, and as often 
as possible. But let me entreat you again in patience to 
possess your soul. 

Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medway, Feb., 1845. 

" My Dear Husband, I received your very welcome let 
ter about a fortnight since, and I thought when it came, that it 
would have been answered before this ; but I have been so 
busy, book-making, and attending to our dear children, that I 
have delayed it day after day, until the present time. I will 
try and observe the restrictions that you mentioned in your 
letter, but it will be hard work to write to you without telling 
you any news. Indeed, I do not think it is intended to ex 
clude any information respecting your family and friends 
which I may communicate. 

" Brother Alexis, we hope, will live, but his physicians 
say it is still a very doubtful case, though there may be hope. 
Father s health is improving, and the rest of the family are 
in usual health. Perhaps you are in a hurry to hear about 
the children. I thought I would speak of them and of my 
self last, because of the most importance in your estimation. 
Charles is in fine health, and generally in good spirits, save 
when he is talking about his father, and how long it will be 
before you will return. Then, his patience almost forsakes 


liim ; but he says he will try to be a good boy and obey his 
mother, because it will please father. He improves quite 
rapidly in his studies, and exhibits quite a fondness for read 
ing. Mary is not as well as usual to-night, but you need not 
be alarmed, for I think it will prove to be nothing but a se 
vere cold. She seems to be rather feverish, but I have ap 
plied remedies that I think will be successful in relieving it. 
I wish sometimes that you could look into our room, and see 
Charles and Mary with your miniature. They take it and talk 
to it, carry it about, and really seem sometimes as though 
they thought you had returned. It is a great comfort, I as 
sure you, to have it, and especially as it is such a good one. 

" My own health is quite good, considering my feeble con 
stitution. If I had not been sitting up too late, for several 
nights past, I should feel quite well. But I am not accus 
tomed to such things, and it affects me very much, so much 
so that I can hardly write a decent letter. I forgot to men 
tion, that it is now time all honest folks were in bed/ but I 
have determined, if I can keep my eyes open, that another 
day shall not pass, before I have written to you. ! there 
is one thing I will mention here, lest I forget it : uncle 
Samuel A. Turner wrote me that he was going to Baltimore 
in a few weeks, and he will call and see you, if he can be ad 
mitted. In the same letter, he mentions that your grandfa 
ther and aunt Fanny were in usual health. 

" I have been thinking since I mentioned Mary s illness, 
that it might make you unhappy, thinking I had not written 
to you as bad as it was ; but be assured I have. If we are 
truly submissive to God, we shall not indulge our fears to any 
great extent, because, we know that all things shall work 
together for good to them that love God. I hope you will 
be enabled to bear your imprisonment with patience, and I 
pray God you may do good while you are in prison. Try 
to remember, when you are severely tried, and I presume 
that will of necessity be quite often, whose ambassador you 


are ! God has, in his providence, called you to represent 
Him, in prison ! try to do it faithfully! 
Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medivay, April 1, 1845. 

" My dear husband, I should have answered your two 
letters before this, but I have been waiting, to know what to 
write you about your manuscript of Home, which I carried to 
the printer some time since. But not hearing from him as 
I expected to do, I have concluded to write, and wait till an 
other opportunity to inform you of its fate and progress. 

" I have procured you an Italian Bible, from the Bible So 
ciety. It cost $2,37.Jf ; rather more expensive than I sup 
posed it would have been ; but it is a good one. 

" I received a letter, a short time since, from Mr. Asa Child, 
giving me some encouragement to hope that ere long, by pa 
tient effort, the governor might be induced to liberate you. 
He said that he wished the cooperation of jour friends. Fa 
ther has consulted some of the senate, particularly Linus Child, 
the brother of Mr. Asa Child. He has taken time to think 
of it, and has written to father, that if you will say to me, or 
father, that if you get out you will never go into those States 
FOR THAT PURPOSE AGAIN, he thinks the most influential 
members of the senate will petition for your pardon. Mr. Child 
says, that unless you will give us that assurance, the senators 
will not do anything about it. If you will do that, they will 
all, he thinks, petition the governor to pardon you. And 
the governor of Massachusetts, he also thinks, will use all his 
influence with the governors of Maryland and Virginia. He 
says it is never customary for one governor to petition to an 
other, but he thinks Gov. Briggs will do as much as that in 
another way. 

" Now if you will say that you will not go into those States 


again, for the purposes for which you are now imprisoned, 
then you must write immediately and say so. Now I think 
you can say that, but I have ever felt doubtful about making 
those concessions, which would imply any duplicity on your 
part. When you come out, I want to feel that it is an honor 
able acquittal ; and as dearly as you love liberty, I do not be 
lieve you love it better than you do integrity. But what the 
senators wish you to say, is not inconsistent with integrity. 
I have been to Scituate, to read your manuscript of Home to 
your grandmother. She likes it very much, though she thinks, 
in one or two places, you were mistaken about the facts, and 
those I have corrected. 

" Charles says, tell pa that he braids four yards of straw 
every day, and almost every day gets it done quick ; that he 
loves you very much ; that he went to afire the other night, 
and helped put it out by throwing on sand ; that he is a pret 
ty good boy, but not very. Mary sends her love to pa, and 
says, tell him I wish the men would not keep you any longer, 
but let you come home quick ; that she should be happy to 
come and see you, if she dared. Your aunt Fanny wants you 
to write a few lines to her, in my letter. Grandmother sends 
a great deal of love, and prays for you continually. Uncle 
Theodore says, tell Charles, if there was anything I could do 
for him, I would do it with pleasure. I am pretty sure he 
said he would be willing to suffer for you a part of the time, 
if it could do you any good. 

"We had something quite remarkable for us, a fre, the 
other night. Mrs. Hastings had been absent about a fortnight, 
when her barn was discovered, one night, to be on fire. You 
know a fire there would render father s buildings in danger, 
if the wind was the right way ; but fortunately the wind was 
north-east, and thus not only father s buildings, but Mrs. Has 
tings house and wood-shed were saved. Father says the 
senators, this year, are very influential men, and that the gov- 


ernor will certify to their standing. When I write you again, 
I hope to be able to tell you more news. 

Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medway, May 2, 1845. 

"My dear husband, I wrote you several weeks since, 
asking you to answer it immediately, and tell me if you would 
be willing to say to me, that you would not go into the States 
of Maryland and Virginia for the purpose of enticing or as 
sisting slaves away from their masters, if you were liberated. 
You have not answered the question, and I do not know 
whether you have not received the letter, or whether you 
have not been permitted to write. 

" Mr. Webster will bring this letter to you, and perhaps 
they will allow you to answer it through him, if you cannot 
write. I have quite a headache to-day ; otherwise, my health 
is good, and so is that of the children. They pray every day 
for father, and you may rest assured that you are not forgot 
ten by their mother. Your books are not published yet. The 
delay of Home is occasioned by the unwillingness of the print 
ers to assume the responsibility. I believe many who have 
examined it, think it very interesting and well written. The 
Letters are not quite finished yet, but I am expecting every 
day to complete them. I am aware that this is sad news to 
a prisoner, but you must not be discouraged, but * hope on, 
hope ever. You know I always write very slowly ; and 
now, when so many cares and duties devolve upon me, it 
seems as though I was necessarily slower than ever. 

" School does not keep now ; and it is almost impossible 
for me to write, when the children are in the room with me. 
I am trying to teach them to be useful ; but never did I feel 
my inefficiency as I do now. I throw my cares and my bur 
den upon God, and it is a relief. O ! that He would enable 
us all, both parents and children, to live in such a manner as 


will please him. If we could but keep eternity in view, and live 
in reference to our preparation for it, then we should begin 
to be rational. I feel that my Christian course is so irregu 
lar and inconsistent, that I am not fit to bring up our dear 
children ; and I sometimes, yes often, fear that God will think 
it necessary to remove me from them, if he has designs of 
mercy toward them. 

" I know you do not forget them ; but let us pray more 
earnestly, not only for their conversion and sanctifi cation, 
but for our own. Perhaps when we are more holy, God will 
again restore us to each other. He can incline the hearts of 
those who keep you imprisoned to release you ; and he can 
and will do all his pleasure. I have not seen your grand 
mother since I wrote you before. Aunt Amanda has been 
very dangerously sick, but is now recovering. If you have 
never received my last letter, of course you have not re 
ceived your Italian Bible, which I sent at the same time and 
in the same way. If you have not received them, I hope 
you will inform me, in some way or other. Your cousin, 
Horace James, often inquires after you, as also almost every 
one else does. You may be assured you are not forgotten. 
I have several items of news, which I should like to commu 
nicate, but they are such as are not proper to mention here, 
where everything is read by others. It is quite a trial to sit 
down and write to one whom you have not seen so long, and 
be obliged to omit almost all you want to say. However, we 
ought to be thankful, that we have this means of communi 
cation. But we did not understand our privileges when* we 
could write letters and seal them. 

" It is getting quite late to-night, and I must close this let 
ter ; but if I could say all I wished, I should not much mind 
the lateness of the hour. Good night. 

Your affectionate wife, 



" West Medway, June, 1845. 

" My dearest husband, Your welcome letter, dated April 
29th, was duly received. Since then, I presume you have re 
ceived one from me by Mr. Webster. 

" I have intended to answer your last every day since I re 
ceived it ; but my cares never seemed to press heavier than 
they have lately ; and I have postponed it, in the vain hope 
that the succeeding day would afford me more leisure. When 
I allude to cares, you need not afflict yourself because you 
think I have too much to do. It is not that I have so much to do, 
but because I have so little faculty to accomplish what I un 

" But I could write to you often, notwithstanding all these 
obstacles, could I but sit down and write as I wish. But this 
constrained correspondence is one of the greatest of my trials. 
I suppose my letters are a comfort to you, as poor and mea 
gre as they are, because you are glad of any token of re 
membrance. It is this thought only that gives me pleasure 
when I write. But it is no relief to me. I cannot speak of 
my joys and sorrows ; for my letter must pass through other 
hands than yours. I do not wish to complain, but I do feel 
tried. We did not know how to appreciate our privileges 
when you were in the jail, for then we might be allowed to 
hold communion by letters, if we could not see each other 
face to face. 

" Perhaps it is wrong to write, in this melancholy strain, 
to one who cannot relieve me ; and I will try to make the re 
mainder of my letter more cheerful. One thing I am sure 
will make you laugh. It is this ; I have tried to write so bad 
that no one but you could spell it out ; and it seems, from a 
remark you made in your last, that I almost succeeded. Your 
answer to the question proposed by Linus Child, is to me per 
fectly satisfactory. It seems to me, that if you had gone any 
farther, you would have sacrificed your integrity. If you had 
not said as much as you did, that you would have erred upon 


the other side. Whether Mr. Child and the other senators 
are satisfied with your answer, I have not yet learned. 

" It is well sometimes to remember the fable of the old man 
who tried to please every body ; and then if we do what in 
our judgment is right, we shall feel willing to waive the opin 
ions of men, and trust our cause in the hands of the Lord, 
who is able to do more for us than his feeble creatures, and 
even make their wrath praise him. You mentioned you had 
not received your Italian Bible. I hope Mr. Child will not 
withhold it any longer. You must need it by this time. 

" I attended the Anniversaries in Boston saw many old 
friends, every one of whom inquired after you with much 
interest. Mr. Phelps has removed to New York, as editor of 
the American and Foreign Reporter. He was in Boston, 
however, at the Anniversaries, and assisted me in revising 
my book. Of that last mentioned article I do not like to say 
much. I have labored under many disadvantages in writing 
it, owing to the difficulty of writing while my children were 
in the room, and necessarily requiring a good deal of attention. 

" Mr. Phelps thinks it barely possible that he may visit 
you this fall. He spoke of you affectionately, and takes a 
lively interest in your case. Brother Alexis wished me to 
leave a space in this letter for him to write to you. But I 
think I must occupy it nearly all myself this time. Isabella 
wished me to be sure and give her love ; and all of father s 
family wish me to assure you of their sympathy and remem 

" Father has just returned from Mr. Homer s funeral. He 
died on Saturday, of a paralytic shock. His funeral was at 
tended in Park Street church, and Mr, Aiken, Mr. Rogers, 
and one other minister,whose name I have forgotten, officiated. 

" Mr. Webster, I understand, has returned, but I have not 
seen him. I have expected he would come and see me, and 
give me many particulars respecting his interview with you. 
Some one mentioned the other day, with how much truth I 


cannot tell, that lie had not returned to Hopkinton, but sim 
ply to Boston ; and finding his wife was not as well, he has 
taken her another journey. This I very much doubt, but it 
may be true. 

" It is very late at night. All in the house have been 
quietly sleeping for some time, and I must bid you good night. 
I fully believe that we shall not long thus be separated. 
Trust in God, and he can dispose those who imprison you 
to release you. Our dear little children ! I had almost for 
gotten to add their messages of love. But they send much 
love, and wish father to know that they mean to be good, 
and that they pray for you every day. Charles is trying to 
learn to write his father a letter. Again, good night. 
Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medway, July, 1845. 

" My Dear Husband, Do not reproach me for not writing 
to you before. I know that it looks unkind to leave you so 
long without hearing from me ; but when you hear my rea 
sons, perhaps you will not think it was so in fact. 

" Ever since I wrote you last, I have been quite unwell, 
not sick enough to dignify it with that name ; but so weak, 
that much of the time I felt unable to sit up, or if I did, to do 
anything but sleep, unless it was absolutely necessary. In 
this time, I have performed considerable labor, but it has 
been the performance of duties from which I could not shrink. 
But this alone, did not prevent my writing. My head has 
felt so strangely that it pained me to think. Making no calcu 
lations for being sick, I had previously accepted proposals 
from the publishers of the Youth s Cabinet , to become one 
of the regular contributors to that paper. I engaged to send 
them a communication at a given time, and I felt rny honor 
was depending upon the fulfilment of the engagement prompt 
ly. But my head was in such a state, that you could have no 


letter, and they could have no article. At length, by perse 
verance, writing a little while, and lying down a great while, 
I have succeeded in sending them the communication, though 
it was not in season for publication in the No. I intended. 
The publisher was very kind, though I disappointed him, and 
wrote me he liked the article, and forwarded the money in 
the letter. This was quite unexpected. I did not expect to 
receive my pay till the end of the year. Now, my dear hus 
band, is not this a long apology ? I have thought of you 
often, though you have had no evidence of it for such a long 
time. It is a comforting thought, that man can do nothing to 
us which is not seen and known by our heavenly Father ; 
therefore let us hope on, hope ever. God will avenge those 
who suffer wrongfully, in his own time. Gov. Lincoln will 
sign a petition for your release, accompanied by other mem 
bers of the Senate, and several Judges. 

" Last week I received a proposal to write for the Literary 
Emporium, published in New York city. I do not think I 
shall be able to furnish anything for a work of that charac 
ter. It is not denominational, but rather too literary for 
one whose head is in such a state as mine has been lately, 
not to say anything of my incompetency when I am well. 
" Charles and Mary do not forget their father. Charles, I 
think, improves some ; but it is a great responsibility to bring 
him up as he should be, and I sometimes shrink from the 
task, as entirely incompetent. But I endeavor to rely upon 
the promises, that wisdom shall be given to those who seek it. 
I find the children are anxious to talk as other children do at 
school, using by- words ; they do not use wicked words, but 
large words, thinking it makes them great. I have studied 
some time how I should prevent them from wishing to do so. 
I have at length adopted this expedient. I am teaching them 
o speak in French. It seems thus far to be a good substi- 
ute. But Charles is absent-minded. He will drop his knife 
t nd fork while eating, and apparently forget there is any food 


before him till he is reminded of it. He loves to think, but 
what shall I do with him to make him think at proper times? 

" Your cousin, Horace James, with his wife and several la 
dies, who were visiting them, came over and spent the after 
noon last week. Mr. Dowse, of Sherburne, Mr, Smalley, of 
Worcester, your cousin Horace, and Mr. Phelps wish to be 
particularly remembered to you. Mr. Phelps is very kind to 
me, and so in fact is every body. Your manuscript of Home* 
is not yet published. I shall try to press the publication of 
i Home, but I very much doubt whether it is wise to issue 
the Letters, if we attempt to get you pardoned. Therefore I 
shall watch the movements of Providence. If it would be 
the means of prolonging your imprisonment, I would not 
have them published; the Committee think it will not be 
best. I shall abide by their judgment, unless Providence 
poits another way. Meanwhile, remember, when you are 
entreated to be recreant to your honest convictions for the 
sake of release of which, after all, you are not certain the 
charge in Revelation : Be thou faithful unto death, and I 
will give thee a crown of life ! Yes, if you do right, you 
will not need to wait till death, to receive your reward. I 
believe it is at hand. 

" Please say to Mr. Child, that I received his kind letter 
some time since, but have not been able to answer it ; and 
tell him also, that I cannot obtain any information respecting 
Heckrotte s slaves. I do not believe they have ever been 
in Massachusetts. 

Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medway, Sept. 13, 1845. 

"My dearest husband, I have been looking in vain 
these many months for a letter from you, but none has been 
received. I wish you would write me one letter and tell me 
why you do not write. Do you receive all my letters ? 


" In your former letters, you wrote that you could be per 
mitted to write to me once in three months ; but it is now 
nearly four months since I have received a line from you. 
I hope you have not forgotten your wife and children. If I 
may not plead for a letter for myself, let me at least ask one 
for my children. 

" Charles and Mary both have severe colds, but neither of 
them are sick. Father has just returned from New York, 
where he has been to attend the meeting of the American 
Board. He started with the intention of going to Baltimore 
before he returned, for the express purpose of seeing you, 
and trying to see what could be done to effect your liberation. 
The first night he was there, he was taken violently sick with 
what he supposes was the cholera. As soon as he dared at 
tempt it, he set out for home. He looks quite worn out. It 
seems Providence was not quite ready for him to comey for 
the same day that he started for home, he received a line 
stating that deacon Wiley was failing very fast, and request 
ing him to hurry home. I should not be surprised if you 
should see him before winter yet. But one thing is certain, 
he will stay at home until he gets better and stronger. But 
do not despair ; brother Phelps will be there in the course of 
two or three weeks, and you know he is an efficient man. If 
anything can be done, he can do it. He has been very kind 
to me in procuring employment for my pen. You see it will 
hardly write now ; but the fault is not so much with my pen 
as with my ink. I am afraid I shall not be able to finish this 
letter; it is late, Saturday night, and I cannot get any more 
till Monday. Upon looking at my writing, I find that it does 
not look much worse than common, so I am afraid you will 
not appreciate my trials in regard to it. I cannot tell you 
any good news. My mind looks upon the dark side of hu 
man life. All our good folks seem to be dying off in Med- 
way, and scarcely any rising up to fill their places. I do not 
mean that there are not inhabitants enough, but we have so 


few conversions, in proportion to the deaths among the mem 
bers of the church. 

" To-morrow is the Sabbath. Let us spend it together, 
%>ugh we are so far apart. It is a pleasant thought, when I 
am praying, that I have one who is probably uttering similar 
petitions at the same time. 0, how great a privilege it is to 
be allowed to pray. Let us use this weapon against our ene 
mies faithfully. They cannot prevent us, no ! Nor can they 
prevent the blessing with which God may crown our faith. 
Remember, Apollyon was vanquished, when Christian be 
thought himself of his weapon All-Prayer. Try this wea 
pon, my dear husband. I will try it, though our enemies 
laugh, and say, Aha, so would we have it ; they may yet 
see our strength is in God, and we shall prevail ; as the in 
habitants of Jericho derided the rams horns and pitchers, 
but to their shame found them filled with the wrath of God 
which was poured upon their heads, and trumpets to proclaim 
their defeat, so may our enemies find our God is a great God, 
and can work deliverance where man cannot, and where the 
beholders, our enemies, would cry, there is no help. I am 
looking forward to the day, and believe it will come, but how 
it will be accomplished I know not, when you will be restored 
to your family. So do not despair. I know it will be so. 
Hope thou in God. 

Your affectionate wife, 


" Sept. 1845. 

** Dear Torrey, I scarcely know whether I have an ex 
istence in your memory or not ; but well do I know that I 
have not forgotten you. I have not forgotten the hours 
when my comrades and myself used to listen for hours to 
your entertaining conversation ; or the times when you corn- 
batted, before the people, what you believed to be falsehood, 
and maintained what you believed to be the truth. 


" Though not united with you, in many things, you al 
ways excited a special interest in my mind for you personally ; 
and since your imprisonment, I have thought long and often 
about you : would that my thinking had been of some service 
to you. 

" I have been under the impression, from some newspaper 
item, that none but your relatives were allowed to correspond 
with you, and that only at stated intervals ; and was sur 
prised when, a few days since, my friend Dillwyn Jones called 
and informed me that he had visited you, and that you were 
privileged to receive letters from any one if they were of the 
right stamp ; and also that you would be glad to receive books. 

" It even delighted me to know that these privileges were 
not withheld by those who have you in their power ; and I 
trust that they may preserve you from despondency and grief. 
Indeed I know that although stone walls surround you, ex 
cluding from your gaze the green beauty of earth, and from 
your cheek the balm of heaven s free air, yet the eternal 
spirit of the chainless mind within you, is more untrammelled 
than is that of many a one who suffers no immurement. I 
never ponder on your situation, but I think of Byron s Priso 
ner at Chillon ; and the horror and helplessness of his con 
dition, makes even your lot, in comparison, a happy one. 
* In the lowest deep, there is a deep still more profound; 
and I think there is no more effectual way of solacing ourselves 
than to advert to those who are able to bear privations more 
cruel than our own. 

" As I am not permitted to write to you on those subjects 
which would probably interest you most, I trust you will ex 
cuse the want of spirit in my letter. How it cramps a free 
spirit to be circumscribed and restricted in its desire to roam 
whithersoever it will, and to gather and fling to a kindred be 
ing such flowers and pebbles as it listeth. 

" My young friend, Caroline French, having determined to 
visit Baltimore and to call upon you, notifies me of her wil- 


lingness to be the bearer of anything which I may desire to 
send you ; and by her kindness I am enabled to forward a 
few books, not knowing whether they are suitable or not. 

" If it suits your convenience and hers, I should be glad to 
receive a letter from you when she returns ; but if not, write 
immediately by mail. Tell me what character of books you 
would like to have ; give me your reflections, your hopes, 
your griefs, and all the particulars of your treatment and situa 

" If anything but my young friend s face were needed to 
recommend her, I would give you most heart-felt testimo 
nials in her favor. If genuine goodness and perfect loveli 
ness are desirable, then you will be pleased with her. May 
her visit be like that of a stray sunbeam from paradise. Her 
uncle, John Atkinson, accompanies her. 

" Accept my warmest desires for your peace, comfort, and 
welfare ; and believe me your unchanging friend, 


" Write without delay." 

" Philadelphia, 8mo. 24, 1845. 

" My friend Torrey, Until to-day, I have hardly thought 
of a resolve I made when visiting thee a few weeks ago. In 
deed, I don t know but my promise was given to write soon ; 
and now the impelling motive is given by hearing an inquiry 
made on behalf of thy aged friend Esther Moore, whether 
she would be allowed to correspond with thee. 

" The reply sent her was, that she might write what she 
was willing should be examined by the inspectors of the peni 
tentiary. From her taking the trouble to send from her home 
(at present in Salem, N. J.) to Philadelphia for information, 
1 take it that she will not be long in sending thee a line. 

" To some of thy friends I mentioned the scarcity of books 
at your house. Have any sent a supply ? Ere this I should 
have done it, but I have been absent from home considerably, 


and when at home, business has required ray strict attention. 
If I send any, and there be such among them as will not pass 
as books proper to be read, (for I can scarce tell what would 
be admitted,) such directions will accompany them as will 
prevent their being lost. 

" Yesterday and the day previous, the rain came down as if 
for a second deluge. Our city has not, for months, passed 
through such a cleansing baptism. 

" The streams have been low, and the season more bereft 
of rain than usual; yet wheat and other crops are excellent, 
making a most generous return for the husbandman s labor. 

" Fruits, particularly melons, cantelopes, peaches, etc., 
such as our Jersey neighbors are famous for raising, come to us 
in abundance, and at a price within reach of all. 

" With such a variety and excellence of the fruits of the 
earth, no self-denial is required in the practice of Graham s 
theory, a plan I ve been trying for a few months past. It 
works admirably ; can perform as much labor as the canni 
bals ; sjeep sweet o nights ; and in every respect feel as well 
as when patronising the flesh pots. 

" The day is far spent, and as I have another letter to write, 
must close soon. Much that I would like to write, may be 
precluded by the regulations of the house ; and lest I might 
say something inconsistent with the rules, and thus condemn 
the whole letter, my cautiousness has been so exercised, 
that the letter must seem irksome. At some day, not very 
distant, I may again write. One of my friends in Baltimore 
expressed a desire to see thee, and he may be the bearer of 
some books and a letter from me ; Jacob Fassel is his name, 
one of the Dr. s nephews ; perhaps he has called on thee 
ere this. Farewell. 

From thy sympathizing brother, 


" I think I was informed your rules do not permit thy writ 
ing to friends promiscuously ; but if thee can communicate with 


those who are in the world, should be glad to receive a letter 
at any time thy inclination might dictate. 

"If thee writes, address it to 62 So. 4th St., Phila." 

" Philadelphia, Oct. 14, 1845. 

" My dear brother, My heart is grieved to hear of your 
indisposition and depression of spirits. O that I may now be 
directed by the divine Spirit to write something for your con 
solation. May God himself comfort your stricken heart. 
Now, beloved, you are called hy your heavenly Father to 
endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. I know 
of no exhortation more appropriate to your present lamented 
case, than the blessed one, Looking unto Jesus. O con 
sider the contradiction of sinners which he endured against 
himself, lest you be wearied and faint in your mind. Was 
there any sorrow like unto his sorrow, which his agonized soul 
suffered so willingly for us ? He was wounded for our trans 
gressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement 
of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. 
O what agony he endured in the garden, when, in that most 
affecting hour of temptation, he sweat, as it were, great drops 
of blood. O did the holy Son of God take this bitter cup 
which his Father gave him, and shall we, sinful creatures, 
refuse the chastisements our Father s wisdom and love ap 
point as means necessary to make us meet to partake of the 
inheritance of the saints in light ? 

" But we are to look unto Jesus, not only as an exemplar of 
patient suffering, of unparalleled affliction, but as our sympa 
thizing high-priest, who is touched with a feeling of our in 
firmities. Whoever may forget you in your grievous incarce 
ration, he does not. He sits by you as a refiner. He will 
regulate the degree, the circumstances of every trial which his 
children endure, that his own design of infinite love towards 
them may be consummated. He gives us the sweet privilege 
of coming to him by faith, of reposing on his own bosom of 


love, and casting all our care and sorrow there. O my brother, 
avail yourself of this high and blessed privilege, and say, 
though he slay me, yet will I trust in him. O hear his voice 
of consoling love : My peace I give unto you ; not as the 
world giveth, give I unto you : let not your heart be troubled, 
neither let it be afraid. Read the mighty achievements of 
the faithful, recorded in Heb. xi. chap., who had trials of cruel 
mockings and scourgings ; yea, moreover, of bonds and im 
prisonments ; they \vere stoned, they were sawn asunder, 
were tempted, were slain with the sword ; they wandered 
about in sheep skins and goat skins ; being destitute, afflicted, 
tormented. Think it not strange, beloved, as though some 
strange thing had happened unto you. It is through much 
tribulation that the chosen of the Lord must enter the king 
dom. If the present peculiar affliction tends to humble you 
before God ; to wean your heart from every other object, and 
fix it upon Him who alone is worthy of our supreme affection ; 
if it leads you to strict and impartial examination of your heart 
and state of mind in respect to your relation to God and your 
hope for eternity ; if it is, by divine grace, the means of as 
similating you to Jesus Christ ; it shall work out for you a 
far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory ; and you will 
praise God that you have been shut out from the world, in 
the prison of Maryland. 

" * Looking unto Jesus, implies looking for his personal 
coming and reign, and a blessed participation in his kingdom. 
Unto them that look for him, will he appear the second time, 
etc. O how soon shall your present scene of darkness pass 
away ! A little while and he that will come shall come, and 
will not tarry. The Lord my God shall come, and all the 
saints with him. Believe, brother, and now in patience pos 
sess your soul, honoring God, and he will honor you. You 
may pass from the prison to the palace of the New Jerusalem, 
which cometh down from God out of heaven unto earth, when 
the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and the Lord God 


shall dwell among us, * the Lamb shall lead us to fountains of 
living water, and God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes/ 
* When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall we also 
appear with him in glory. 

" And now, my dear suffering brother, lift up the eye of 
faith and anticipate this glory. * Behold he cometh, etc. I 
commend you to God and the word of his grace. O that the 
precious promise of eternal love may sustain and comfort your 
stricken heart. O that the eye of faith may penetrate the 
dark clouds which now darken your horizon. Remember, the 
bright throne beyond, changes not. It will be one part of 
heaven s blessedness to trace the wisdom and love of our Fa 
ther, in the dark way through which he has led us. What 
thou knowest not now, thou shall know hereafter. Look, 
then, unto Jesus, casting all your care and sorrow upon him, 
for he careth for you. 

Your affectionate brother and sympathizing friend, 


11 Harwich, Dec. 19, 1845. 

" Dear Friend Torrey, A correspondent of the Boston 
Traveller, whose communication was copied into the Libera 
tor, describing thy condition, suggested a desire to write to 
thee. My dearly beloved friend Torrey, there is a secret in 
Christianity that will save thee from all trouble, let thy con 
dition be what it may. When I saw thee on the Cape, with 
Luther Lee and Cummings, and at Boston, at the conventions, 
I had no doubt that you was destitute of the religion of the 
New Covenant : which is this I will put my laws in their 
minds, and write them in their hearts; I will be to them a 
God, and they shall be to me a people/ Now, dear brother, 
what can you ask for more than this ? Is not God all-suf 
ficient ? Again If you abide in me, and my words abide 
in you, ye shall ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done un 
to you/ Is not this legacy enough ? Again Now we know 


that all things work together for good, to them that love God, 
to them that are the called according to his purpose. Once 
more Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, 
or life, or death, or things to come, or things present, all are 
yours, and ye are Christ s, and Christ is God s. Now I so 
berly ask, do not these declarations and promises bequeath 
to us all that we can justly desire ? Is there anything left 
out ? Now the great secret is this ; the condition on our part 
is this : we must render to God the things that are God s ; 
and if we do, I ask if there is anything left? Our trouble 
is, we call God s things ours. God justly and righteous 
ly claims all to be His ; and he justly claims a right to 
govern his own. If we really give anything to God, our 
anxiety about that thing will be gone ; the devil himself, 
cannot trouble us about that thing ; let it be thy wife, thy 
children. When this is done, you behold a God, all-sufficient 
for them, able and willing to do infinitely more than poor man 
can possibly do. And if you could only present thy body a 
living sacrifice to God, you would have no more trouble about 
thy body. To be short, when there is an entire consecration 
of all to God, then we have an undoubted right to all the 
promises of God ; then we are the sons of God, the called 
according to his purpose, the elect of God, the beloved of 
God, the chosen of God, heirs of God and joint-heirs with 
Christ Jesus : and can we rationally conclude that he will 
withhold any good thing from such a character ? Now the 
way to come into this state, is to cease to look at the things 
that are seen, or desire them but look at the things that are 
not seen ; die, be crucified to all sensible objects, then thy 
happiness will be hid with Christ in God ; then thou canst 
rejoice evermore ; pray without ceasing, and in every thing 
give thanks. May this be thy happy lot so prays 
Thy affectionate brother, 





WE have but few more letters to present the reader from 
the pen of Mr. Torrey ; these were evidently written with a 
feeble and trembling hand. In the summer of 1845, his health 
began very decidedly to be affected by his imprisonment. This 
induced his friends to make a vigorous effort to obtain his par 
don and release from prison. His waning health, the gene 
rous exertions of Messrs. Phelps and Cleaveland, in his be 
half, the cheering light that shone around him in his last hours, 
are all distinctly exhibited in the following letters, and the 
account of the efforts for his release by Rev. Mr. Phelps. 

The first letter is without date, and it is not known pre 
cisely when it was written. 

" My dearest wife, It is now nearly or quite midnight, 
and my poor rheumatic body aches so severely that I cannot 
write, either in prose or rhyme, such a note as I fancied I 
could write, to give with the only lock of hair I ever gave you., 
,that I remember. It looks so like taking a memorial of a de 
parted friend, or of one we never expect to see again. The 
mother of all the faithful was adorned with bracelets, though 
the Scripture does not say whether or not a love-lock of her 
husband s hair was entwined among the gold-work. Doubtless 
a lover, of Isaac s good taste, would not have neglected such 
a point, especially as he had to do his courting by proxy ! 
Well, my dear Mary, to-day may open the way for our union 
again ; or it may separate us for many, many years. If the 
latter, I trust we shall not need memorials, so frail as a lock 
of hair, to recall each to the other. Yet the hair is the most 
enduring portion of our bodily system. Long after the flesh 
and bones become small, impalpable dust, the hair, the glorj 


of the head, retains its color and strength. Nay, it even grows, 
while the rest of the body is decaying; thus seeming to pos 
sess an almost independent vitality of its own. So may it be 
with our affection, when flesh shall fail us, and our bodies 
decay, and every memorial of them perish. So may it be 
with us when * heart, too, shall fail us, and all our earthly re 
lations cease. May God, then, be the strength of our heart, 
and our portion forever. If, in another world, those undying 
elements of our spiritual nature are controlled, as I doubt not 
they are, by the same principles that regulate all holy inter 
course here, while we may have no locks of hair, for a brace 
let, we shall not want many a sweet remembrance, in every 
word and deed of kindness, every mutual prayer, every act of 
service to our Lord, in which we engaged together; and, 
above all, in the children He has given us to train up for 
Him. Whether He frees me, or not, to help you, may He 
bless you richly ; and may you be a bracelet on His hands, 
in the day He shall appear to be glorified in his saints. 
Your affectionate husband, 


" Baltimore Penitentiary, Sept. 28, 1845. 
" My Dearest Wife, Do not for a moment think* that I 
have either wilfully or willingly neglected you. Your four 
kind letters, dated in June, July, August and Sept. 13th, all 
came safe, though not always very promptly, to hand. 
My last letter to you, dated May 1st, was written at intervals 
of pain and weakness, in the hospital, on a sick bed. From 
that day to this, I have not been, for two days at a time, free 
from excruciating pain in the head, with occasional severe 
pains in the heart, accompanied by general weakness in the 
system. You will not think it very strange therefore, that I 
have not been able to write a connected letter for many weeks 
past, at least, for five or six. Other causes, before that, de 
layed my doing so. My mental energy, and sanity, have 


been much affected by such long continued pain in the brain ; 
so that very often, for three months past, I have been obliged 
to struggle to repress the impulse to utter insane ravings, and 
even wicked follies which my whole soul abhors. Most of 
the time I have very little control over my thoughts. If a 
painful idea takes possession of the mind, it is as if a rough 
iron was drawn over the brain, for whole hours, and even 
days at a time. These forms of mental suffering depend 
wholly on the degree of bodily pain I endure. When my 
brain is easy enough to let me think at all, I am cheerful, 
happy, find delight in drawing near to God, and in all holy 
things. Nay, then pleasantry is agreeable to me. At other 
times, no jest would make me smile. When I received two 
of your letters, with several from kind friends in Philadel 
phia, I read them with entire want of feeling, merely from 
pain. Afterwards, taking advantage of an interval of less 
suffering, I re-read them with much delight, and wept over 
and thanked our Savior for every expression and mark of 
love they contained. So in reading books, anything that 
asks for much thinking, generally confuses my mind, and cau 
ses intense pain. For several weeks I could pray but little, 
and read the Bible less, on that account. Do you ask, why 
such suffering ? The answer is, the little labor required of 
me, acting on a shattered system, is the chief cause. Through 
the kindness of God to us, I have not, as you know, had very 
many of the usual sources of a prisoner s suffering. To know 
that you and our children were protected and cared for by 
friends, able and pledged to provide for every want you would 
make known to them ; to know that no dishonor attached to 
my name, in the minds of the great and good, in this and 
other countries, but that I was honored the more in conse 
quence of the wrath of our foes ; and to have peace with God, 
through our Lord Jesus Christ. Surely, these were things to 
fill our hearts with humble gratitude to God, in all our trials. 
Like all prisoners, 1 suffer many deprivations, and have un- 


happy hours on account of them. I should be more or less 
than human, if it were otherwise. But aside from the ef 
fects of bodily pain and weakness, I can truly say, my pris 
on hours have been happy. But from these I cannot escape ; 
they are rapidly hastening me into the gulf of insanity. Of 
this, I have a horror I cannot describe. Death has no terror ; 
he is Christ s blessed Messenger of peace and love ; how 
eagerly I should welcome him to-day ! 0, come, Lord Je 
sus, come quickly. It is l far better to depart and be with 
Him. Last Sabbath I tried to write, but my efforts produced 
bad English and nonsense. To-day, a state of nervous ex 
citement only short of absolute insanity, enables me to write 
easier, so far, though, for the week past, my mind has been 
generally more crazed and unsettled than before. I know at 
times, I exhibit a pitiable degree of weakness and imbecility 
to those around me. And when I feel better, it troubles me 
to think that the cause of Christ will be dishonored in the 
eyes of the unreflecting and stupid about me. But my only 
comfort is, that God leads us by the hand in the midst of all 
our foes ; and though they rage and blaspheme on account of 
weaknesses, the Lord will order all things well. Sometimes, 
my feelings, I fear, when weighed down with pain, are not 
submissive to God ; it is hard to see If is hand in the suffer 
ings we endure at the hands of wicked men. It is only 
reflection, in health, that can make us feel that the wicked 
are only * the rod of His indignation, and the staff in His 
hand. I am deeply afflicted to be obliged to give you so sad 
an account of my mental and physical state ; especially so, 
because you write that you have been, and still are, far from 
well. But I must tell you the truth, as far as I am allowed 
to do so ; and perhaps, to the few private friends who will see 
this letter, it will be some additional stimulus to action in my 
behalf. If dear brother Phelps comes on, next week, I can 
tell him more freely than I can write, what it is to be sick 
and in prison. I never understood the force of that awful 


climax of our Saviour s sentence in the day of judgment, 
till I was myself in prison. Now, I see, that no combination 
of possible evils could bring greater sufferings on human be 
ings ; though no doubt, prisons, in our Savior s time, were 
\vorse than they are now., 

" I will try to add various things by way of remark on 
your letters. I thank you again, for every one of them. 
They have been balm to me, in some very dark hours. I 
was very happy to hear of your literary engagements. As 
to the * Emporium, I never have seen it. It has been estab 
lished since I was imprisoned. But I see, on the cover of a 
book, it is classed with the * New World and others, for 
which our best writers are paid contributors. Do be persua 
ded, by the voice of your literary friends, as well as by mine, 
to know your own strength. You know it was no fool, but 
a competent judge, that declared you to be second to no fe 
male writer of our country, in prose ; and, if you would fling 
your fears to the winds, your poetic powers would soon cause 
as high and as just praise. Dori t try so hard, and your attain 
ment of the highest celebrity and usefulness will be very 
easy. It has been one of the dearest hopes of my life, that 
I might place you in a situation to devote your time freely 
to literary pursuits. It was a cherished hope connected with 
my removal to this city. Little did I think my prison would be 
your only aid in your career ! But God orders all things well. 
Go on, and God bless you, and guide your pen and mind by 
his Holy Spirit. Attempt all the forms of easy graceful writing, 
such as are common in our literary papers. You will soon learn 
what you can most certainly and rapidly succeed in. 

" Our dear children are daily in my heart, and on my lips, 
before God, the Father of the fatherless, and the Judge of 
the oppressed. Tell them, that when father is too weak to 
utter the whole of the Lord s Prayer, (as it lias often been 
the case,) he never forgets to pray for them, Lord, bless 
them, and make them holy. Don t reprove or ridicule 


Charles for absent mindedness. It is no fault, though an 
evil, that reasoning minds are apt to fall into. Teaching 
him to be polite in attentions to those around him, talking 
with him, and above all, encouraging habits of observation, 
are thorough remedies. Get Mundie s Guide to the Ob 
servation of External Nature, the Natural History of In 
fects, and White s History of Shelbourne, all cheap books, 
and they will furnish you and the children a fund of amuse 
ment and instruction, this winter ; and when spring enables 
you to go into the fields again, will add very much to your 
stores of easily gained knowledge ; especially if you can 
gain self-possession enough to examine all sorts of bugs, 
toads, spiders, etc. : God s most beautiful and harmless crea 
tures, viewed through a magnifying glass that costs fifty 
cents. Childhood is the time to teach and enjoy all the 
branches of Natural History. Let Grammar go, to be learn 
ed by reading and talking, and studied at maturer years. So 
with similar studies, common in our schools. 

" As to Home, I believe I had special divine help in writ 
ing it. But I have given it wholly up to Him. If God 
chooses to make it a blessing to others, and a benefit to you, 
I shall praise his holy name. As to the compilation of my let 
ters, I am only astonished at the long delay to follow the com 
mon sense advice of D. and L. and A., not to mention the 
literary gentleman of this city, who first suggested and urged 
their publication, as a means of personal benefit to me, here, 
and as a heavy blow at the corrupt Police system in this and 
other cities. However, I cannot direct, nor is my judgment 
now worth a straw, on any point where I had not made up 
my mind in health and vigor. As to its hindering my release, 
it is all folly. The cash and the petitions together will secure 
that, if I was born and bred a demon I am very grateful 
for all the kind remembrances from your family and my dear 
friends that your several letters contain. Assure them, indi 
vidually, of my love and grateful regard, especially your fa- 


ther. I am much afraid that his toils and expenditures will 
prove in vain, for lack of the cash. However, if brother P. 
has determined to raise it, it will be done in time. Much as 
I feel averse to that part of Mr. C. s plans, I found, when he 
stated the probable failure of it, that my hopes had rested on 
it more than I was conscious of. If these, or any other means, 
release me before winter, I may save reason and life. If not, 
I am utterly hopeless of doing either. And I write now, feel 
ing that, unless in freedom, this is, in all likelihood, the last 
time I shall ever write to you. I am far more broken down, 
in mind and body, than those around me are aware of. For 
myself, I care little for it. When, this morning (Tuesday, 
30th), I learned the death of a fellow-prisoner, who, a week 
ago, was well, I could not help praying God for leave to fol 
low him soon. Yet I wish to be quiet as a little child, in His 
hands, and bide His time, whether for freedom on earth, or 
to join those who are free among the dead. It has always 
been my conviction that I should never see you again, and 
that I should die here. It has never caused me regret, any 
farther than it might be a source of suffering to you and a 
few persons to whom I would fain owe nothing but love 
and good will. I know, whatever becomes of me, the Lord 
will provide for you and for our children, far better than I 
could, were the world s resources at my word. Our children 
were solemnly devoted to that Savior who gave them. They 
are HIS OWN. Much as I love them, I have never felt, 
especially in regard to Charles, that he was MINE. He is 
solemnly devoted to Christ, if our Lord will accept the offer 
ing. You speak of the joy and the power of prayer. I have had 
numerous occasions, since my imprisonment, to thank God 
for almost visible answers to my cry. Much as my foes have 
exulted, and hated, and threatened, they have been re 
strained from many things by which they intended to injure 
me ; and several times in such a way that nothing but the di 
rect agency of God, in the hearts and minds of men, could 


account for. And, in not a few cases, the violent dealing 
of the wicked has already been visited on their heads. 
You may have heard that poor Hatch has gone to Sing Sing 
for ten years. The discovery and punishment of his crimes, 
was the direct result of the indignation his perjuries against 
me excited in the bosom of a man of poor repute, who was an 
utter stranger to me ! Slill, our God is a GREAT God. His 
ways are in the deep. The wicked are not generally pun 
ished, here, nor the pious freed from suffering. Shall we re 
ceive good at His hands, and not evil? I have no fear 
for the cause of Christ in West Medvvay nor anywhere else. 
God may want deacon W. in a higher sphere of duty and joy. 
So of others. But he will find servants enough to do all His 
will. How often have I seen the bitterest of His foes melted 
by the simplest means ! I shall not forget, soon, the effect of the 
first and (as a composition perhaps) the poorest sermon I ever 
wrote. The Memoir of Miss Lawrence, by Rev. M. Moore, ex 
hibits it, mparton\y. So our weakness is made strong ; and 
our strength, weakness. My best regard and sympathy for Dr. 
B. and his family. Tell him to try the power of mercy and love 
upon the guilty man who has injured him. Punishment har 
dens the heart. If I did not constantly struggle and pray against 
the daily influences of the reformed system, on the mind and 
heart, two years of imprisonment would make me a villain, as it 
does most of those whose intellects are not stupified by it. God 
bless and keep and comfort you and our dear little ones, and 
all who are dear to us. I should be glad to write to my dear 
and now aged grandmother, and aunt Fanny ; the mothers 
who watched over my infancy and youth ; but I cannot. You 
must show them my letters to you. So of my other near 
friends. Since I wrote, Wm. Jackson, Mr. Lincoln of llal- 
lowell, G. W. F. Mellen of Boston, and several other friends, 
some of whom you do not personally know, have called to see 
me ; brother Barlow, among others. And I have letters from 
G. W. Jonson, the Earles, and others, which I should an- 


swer eagerly, if I was not in prison. I have not ceased to love 
them, and all who have shown both kindness to us, and char 
acters worthy of our love. But I cannot reply to them. I 
should be very glad if you would send me a copy, each, of 
Ornament, Saxton s Memoir, Harriet Fisher, and the In 
fidel Son, together with my Greek Testament, and as many 
other books as my friends in Boston or elsewhere will favor 
me with ; especially such as are new, or less than two years 
old, and therefore new to me. Many friends, I know, will be 
very happy to add a few books to your little package. My 
Philadelphia friends propose to send me a package from that 
city. So that the little time and sense I have to read will, 
between both, be fully cared for. I feel (when I can think 
at all) as if I was growing ignorant by reading so little. 
However, I have read God s word the more, and, I hope, 
made some progress in spiritual knowledge, in spite of pain 
and weariness and a prison. I know you will pray much for 
me. I try, at YOUR hour for evening worship, oftentimes, to 
think that we and our little ones are kneeling together at one 
family altar, as we were wont, and calling on OUR Father ; 
and it is very sweet to me. I feel deeply grateful to brother 
Phelps, and to all who have shown kindness to you, either 
for my sake or your own, in this day of our trial. If I am 
never able to express my gratitude to them, individually, God 
sees and will abundantly reward them for it. There are still 
many topics, on which I would gladly add something ; but I 
am in too much pain. Do not fear, so much, the gaze of the 
people. It is not the impudent stare of rude curiosity you 
meet with here ; but looks coming from hearts of cordial sym 
pathy and respect. Living near to God, and followed by 
many prayers, I trust you will yet be happier than you ever 
was in my society. I am deeply grateful to God for the 
prayers of our Salem and other friends. If I am ever re 
stored to health, freedom, and usefulness, it will be because 
many of God s people have prayed for me, especially among 


the poor, whom He has made me the means of benefiting. 
Nothing ever so affected my feelings, as the knowledge of their 
prayers, though I have not undervalued the love of the edu 
cated, the refined and wealthy of our friends and associates. 
Write freely on all personal topics. Whatever feelings exist 
towards me, nothing of that nature will be abused. If Hive, 
and am able, I shall write again, God willing, at the regular 
time. But if I do not write, do not ascribe it to a want of 
will, but to some providence which is not in my power to con 
trol. With much love to our children and to all our families 
and friends, I am yours, with affection, 


"Baltimore Penitentiary, Dec. 30, 1845. 
"My dear wife, Your very welcome letter, dated Nov. 
24th, was handed to me Dec. 14th. I have delayed replying, 
in hope that I might give as cheerful an answer. But lest the 
long delay should make you anxious, I obtained leave to send 
a note, to-day, just to wish you a happy new year, and let 
you know how matters stand. The preliminary arrange 
ments for my release have all been made as successfully as 
could be desired ; and I have not been obliged to make any 
compromise of principle, though urged to sign what looked 
very strongly like one. Mr. Child has been absent at Rich 
mond and Annapolis, to bring the matter to a final issue. He 
has not yet returned, though 1 am daily expecting it. There 
is no very great reason to doubt a favorable result, though 
there has been considerable opposition, and some not very 
honorable to those who made it, as, at a future time, you will 
learn. Still, so long as the matter remains undecided, I can 
not help feeling some anxiety. We may be disappointed. 
But God will provide for us better than we can ask. The 
package of books, including * Home and your letter, (except 
the Tract Soc. Rep. and the other pamphlet,) have not been 
received by me, though they are in the city, beyond doubt. 


I first learned the publication of Home Dec. 12, from father 
Spofford, with whom I had a very pleasant interview. But 
patience ! these petty vexations, please God, will have an 
end. My health is not, on the whole, improving. Now and 
then, for a few days, I gain a little ; arid then, in half the time, 
lose all I gained. I have been obliged to keep my bed, most 
of the time, for the past month. Should I be released, I think 
a resort to a warm climate will give me the only fair chance 
of restoration to health. However, God will order it all right. 
Death has fewer terrors for me than life. I am almost uni 
formly cheerful, and enabled to rejoice in the Lord, who is 
become my salvation. If released, I shall be compelled to 
travel slowly ; at least, to rest a couple of days each, in Phila 
delphia, New York, and New Haven, or Albany. But I 
have business, chiefly legal, in each place, with which, if not 
freed, I should be obliged to trouble you at an early day. So 
the delay will not be useless. Now that there seems to be a 
rational prospect of release, I begin to long to see you and 
dear little Charles and Mary. It would be so sweet to sing 
and pray together once more, at our fireside ! By the way, I 
have sung some of my dear Clarke s sweet songs in queer 
places ! I remember singing, 

What mean ye, that ye bruise and bind 
My people, saith the Lord, etc., 

under the shade of an oak forest, draped with the misletoe, 
far down in the dark land. Has he inserted my song, written 
at Niagara, as he promised? But I am making a letter in 
stead of a note. I cannot sing now, my voice is so much gone. 
I could not do as I did two years ago last September, make 
eight thousand people hear without an effort, or sensibly rais 
ing my voice. No matter. If God has any use for my voice, 
he will restore it again. My best love to our dear children, 
and to all relatives and friends. I will write you as soon as 
the result of the petitions is made known to me. And I hope. 


with God s favor, to be able to write freely all that is in my 
heart to say to my dear and much tried wife. God bless you ! 
In bondage or in freedom, your affectionate husband, 


" Maryland Penitentiary, Feb. 2, 1846. 
" My dear wife, By the kindness of the warden, I am al 
lowed to ask Mr. Child to act as my amanuensis, being una 
ble to write myself. Since my September letter, the bilious 
fever, of which I then spoke, with intervals of disease, have 
reduced me to a state of great weakness, without the aid of the 
nervous pain in my head. For a few weeks, these diseases 
have acted together, as if they were one disease ; the result is, 
I am not able to sit up, or get up alone, from my bed. I think 
that my case, in this respect, is beyond the reach of medical 
skill. I am now in the same condition as in 1826, when my 
life was rescued, with such difficulty, by Dr. Townsend, by 
salivation, only with the disadvantage of having less strength 
to endure medical treatment. My cough, for four months, 
has expectorated from the lungs, daily, considerably ; and for 
the last ten days, has greatly increased. My opinion is, that 
there is no immediate danger from that cause, though I think 
it will result in ultimate death. I speak to you plainly in re 
gard to these matters, my dear wife, because I wish you to 
feel that even if God should, by any means, open my prison 
doors, it is hardly probable that it will be for the purpose of 
giving to us the enjoyment of each other s society for more 
than a few weeks. Do you ask, Are you happy ? The agi 
tations respecting my release have caused some disturbance 
of my peace for some six weeks past, but I feel submissive to 
our Father s will, whatever it may be. With a sense of the 
evil of sin deeper than I ever felt before, God has given me 
more of the spirit of adoption, and I think more humility, 
certainly more peace. As for my imprisonment, neither you 
nor I can withhold the most grateful acknowledgments of 


His rich bounty for the year past. I was thinking them over 
the other night, while all were sleeping about me, and it 
seemed to me that liberty, added to so many tokens of the di 
vine care and love, as we had received, would be too much 
to dare to hope for; a cup running over with blessings. So 
let us rejoice and be glad in Him, whatever may be before us. 
Those books sent me, mentioned in your letter of the 23d or 
24th of September, were not received. Please write to Mu. 
Child any information you may have respecting them. Did 
we ever know one half so much of the kindness of our 
friends towards us as during the last year? Even in prison, 
I have had many proofs of it. I have received twenty-nine 
letters, including yours ; have had about thirty friends come 
to see me, bringing messages of love from perhaps two hun 
dred and fifty persons, in many different States ; not to speak 
of acts of kindness from individuals, that, among the pris 
oners has been remarkable. Hard as the lot of a prisoner 
is, I do not believe, if one is disposed to count up the sum of 
God s mercies, he will fail to see the great balance in favor 
of happiness. I do not believe it is ever otherwise, out of 
the world of despair ; and taking into view the vast dispro 
portion of punishment in accordance with differences of char 
acter, I doubt if it is so with vast numbers even there. A 
* few stripes will be laid on those who have not known the 
Lord s will. Hope thou in God, for we shall yet praise him 
in songs of everlasting joy though we may not unite in his 
praises in this world ; as indeed I do not think we ever shall ! 
My best regards to the various members of your father s fam 
ily, and to my own dear family circle, and to all others, whose 
love I do not forget, though I cannot name them all, or write 
to any. May God s blessing rest upon you and our litvlt* 
ones. I am your affectionate husband, 


" Dear Mrs. Torrey, The above letter was written in the 


Penitentiary, upon a book, without the convenience of a table, 
which will explain in part the writing. It is, verbatim, the 
letter of your husband, taken down as dictated by him. He 
is confined to his bed, and is severely sick, but I hope not so 
dangerously as he supposes, though the physician says his 
lungs are some affected. His mind is calm and composed at 
the present time, though he has suffered some in that respect. 
I am not without fears respecting him, but hope for the best. 
The warden and officers are very kind to him, and do, evi 
dently, all they can for him. Mrs. Child sympathizes with 
you, and begs me to present to you her kind remembrances. 
To-morrow some new efforts are to be made in his behalf. 
I am, sincerely, yours, A. CHILD." 

Feb. 2, 1846. 

This is all we can give from the active hand and the 
fruitful mind of the immortal Torrey ! A few more to him, 
and some from his friends in Baltimore, we are sure will be 
quite acceptable. 

" West Medway, March, 1846. 

"My Dearest Husband, I have just finished writing 
another petition to the governor in your behalf, and father 
is sitting by me, doing the same. So you see, if we are dis 
couraged, we mean to keep trying to help you. I have been 
sick about a week, and if the circumstances of the case had 
teen otherwise than what they are, I should not have 
thought I was able to write anything. But trying is 
every thing. I have tried, and have accomplished it, 
but I am now very tired, and should go to bed, if I did 
not feel desirous to write a few words to you. Father 
returned day before yesterday, with his feelings deeply injur 
ed at the conduct of the governor and of Heckrotte. He 
said he knew but of one thing more that he could do for you, 
and that was to write another petition to the governor, which 


he is now doing. We are all deeply afflicted at your trying 
state. When I am in such pain nights that I cannot sleep, I 
think of and pray for you. Do not think I never do it at any 
other time. Let one thought comfort and animate you. It 
is this: hundreds and thousands remember you in their 
prayers at their fireside and their meetings. That is a com 
fort which every one does not possess. In your afflictions 
they are afflicted. It is sweet to think we are remembered, 
but sweeter still, to know that multitudes are daily pleading 
for us, with that God, who has said, the effectual fervent 
prayer of the righteous man avaiieth much. Mother says 
she means to write to you a letter of consolation, but I am 

almost afraid she will put so much in it, that it will 

hardly be allowed. She undoubtedly would try to avoid it, 
but she has so much of it in her heart, that it would be out 
of the abundance of that, she would write. Alexis too, says 
he intends to write you. Charles and Mary express a 
great desire to see their father, and I cannot but hope they 
will yet see you. 

" Last week a paper was sent to me with a piece of your 
poetry which you wrote in 1843, commencing 

1 My country, my country the land of my pride ! 

I cannot go any farther in my quotation, for the sentiment 
contained in it would be obnoxious. You undoubtedly re 
collect it. At any rate, it is full of poetry as well as good 
sense, and will do you credit. Your Home is well receiv 
ed every where. Ministers circulate it among their people, 
because they feel that it exerts an excellent influence. 

" Isabella sends much love to you she says I must tell 
you she feels much for you, and wishes she could minister 
to you. 

" You will hear again from some of us soon. If I had 
not been too sick, I should have written to you before. May 


the Lord be with you, comfort, sustain, and bless you. 
Though your prospect looks dark, you may yet see a 
brighter day. Hope thou in God. I can write no more 
at present. 

Your affectionate wife, 


" West Medway, April 1, 1846. 

" My Dear Son, Though she that bore you, and called 
you by that endearing appellation is now slumbering in the 
grave, yet there is one who now lives, and who sustains the 
relation of mother to your wife, and through her to you : it 
is she, who now addresses you, and comes to your couch to 
sympathize with you, and share your sorrows. 

" When I think of your lonely and desolate condition, my 
heart yearns over you, and longs to impart some comfort 
and consolation. But debarred as we are from ministering to 
your wants, I think with pleasure of Him to whom no bolts 
or bars are a hindrance to his watchful eye, and who can be 
stow those purer joys which delight the soul. These, in all 
your trials you may share, if you but lift your heart to Him 
in humble and fervent supplication. 

" Never have I enjoyed more true pleasure than when 
commending you to our covenant God, and committing to 
Him your mortal and immortal interest. I feel that God 

will bring much good to from your sufferings. If you 

have truly made your peace with God, death must be to you 
the gate of glory. To be freed from sin, and partake of the 
joys of the ransomed in Heaven is a thought that may afford 
pleasure to the greatest sufferer. My fervent prayer is that 
you may be enabled to glorify your heavenly father in this 
hour of trial, and in the end come forth like gold seven times 
purified. Your nurse, (though I know not who he is,) shares 
in my supplications for his spiritual welfare ; may he come 
forth a decided and devoted Christian. 


" Mrs. Bennett, of Woburn, whom I believe you knew, died 
a few weeks since, a most triumphant death. I wish I could 
convey to you some of those precious tokens she gave of a 
Savior s presence as she entered the dark valley. There is 
now a pleasing work of divine grace begun at Woburn, and 
many other places in our land are sharing the same blessings ; 
particularly Amherst and New Haven Colleges. I had a let 
ter from Jacob last week, speaking of the revival at Amherst, 
and begging an interest in our pray ere for him. 

" To-morrow, is with us, a day of fasting and prayer. I 
hope many a knee will be bowed before God, and many a 
heart truly humbled, will seek the pardon of an offended 
God, and find acceptance with him. 

" Mr. Ide has been quite unwell since his return from Bal 
timore. He is gone this evening to meet a Bible class. The 
seed he is now sowing, I trust will yet spring up, < and bear, 
some sixty, some an hundred fold. 

" May our hearts unite in offering the memorable prayer 
of our Savior on the cross, for those who refuse to grant you 
the boon of a pardon * Father, forgive them they know not 
what they do. We all remember you with feelings of ten- 
derest sympathy, and none more so than 
Your affectionate mother, 


" P. S. Your wife was in here to-day your father thinks 
she looks quite feeble. She does not know I am writing 
you, or she would send her love. The children are well, and 
speak of father in terms that show he is not forgotten ; they, 
with their mother, remember you daily in their prayers. I 
have written in haste, as you will perceive by the frequent 
omissions I have made. I hope some one will make us soon 
acquainted with the state of your health. If you can dictate 
to me an answer to this letter, do, and let me know how you 
are, etc." 



"My Dear Son, I have not written to you, as I intend 
ed when I first returned, on account of my feeble health and 
numerous cares which have pressed upon me. But you 
have heard from Mary, and my wife now sends you a line. 
When I parted with Mr. Phelps in New York, he told me he 
would write you soon, and let you know what he could re 
specting his doings in your behalf. I wish very much to 
near what the decision of the governor is in your case. 
The time is at hand when he intimated to me he should act 
upon the case. Mary and I have renewed our petitions ; but 
what will be the effect I cannot tell. May the Lord prepare 
you for whatever may be his will respecting you. 

Affectionately yours, 

J. IDE." 



The following account is from the pen of Rev. A. A. Phelps. 

" Mr. Torrey was in due time removed from the jail to the 
penitentiary. There, we have reason to believe, he was 
treated by the officers with all the leniency that the rules of 
the prison would allow. Still, he was, in the eye of the law, 
a criminal, and was of course treated as such. Mr. Torrey s 
trial and conviction had not been without its effect on a por 
tion of the better class of citizens in Baltimore. On many 
accounts, they wished his liberation. As the result, early in 
timations were given, from influential sources, that his libera 
tion might be effected on very easy conditions. Some of these 
were made while Mr. Torrey was yet in the jail. In a let 
ter, dated Dec. 21, 1844, Mr. Torrey speaks of the subject 
as follows : 


It has been both a source of joy and humility to know 
how much, not only those whom I know and loved, but the 
poor slaves and colored people, and others whom I never saw, 
have prayed for me. I believe God has already heard them, 
in the peace I have enjoyed in my own heart ; though, as a 
chastisement for my sins, he may not open my prison doors. 
But, sinner though I am, and not worthy of their prayers, or 
His favor, I feel that His cause is subjected to persecution in 
iny person. And, though I may pass, in a measure, from 
their minds, He will vindicate that cause in the end. 

As to my release, the difficulty is to put nerve enough in 
to a Southern governor to bear up against the slaveholding 
aristocracy, or the violent portion of them. Beyond doubt, 
the mass of the best men in Baltimore would be glad to have 
me released to-day. I suppose you have been apprized by 
brother Alden, of the proposal made me by men of high stand 
ing, to secure my release, on condition of some seeming con 
cession to the slaveocracy. I hope to have Leavitt and Chap 
lin here on Monday night, to advise me respecting it. I can 
not afford to concede any truth or principle, to get out of 
prison. I am not rich enough ! 

"In consequence of such intimations, the Torrey Commit 
tee, at Boston, requested the gentleman, who was afterwards 
employed by Prof. Cleveland and ourself, to see whether any 
thing, and what, could be done to effect a liberation. Owing 
to the prejudices of the great body of the people in Baltimore 
and Maryland against abolitionists generally, and Mr. Tor 
rey in particular, he found the case encumbered with great 
difficulties ; but still believed that, by patient and persevering 
effort, the object might ultimately be effected. Meanwhile, 
the funds of the Committee, at Boston, were exhausted; and, 
as the immediate prospect did not seem to warrant a fresh ap 
peal for this particular object, it was concluded by the Com 
mittee to do nothing farther at present. We, also, meanwhile, 


had removed to New York. Here, on the 22d of August, 
1845, when we supposed all effort on Mr. Torrey s behalf had 
been for some time at an end, we learned, indirectly, from a 
Baltimore gentleman, that a small sum of money would ef 
fect his release. We wrote, at once, to Mr. Child, the coun 
sel already referred to, to know what could or could not be 
done. He replied fully ; and, among other things, said, 

* Yours of the 22d is received, and I am not sure but there 
is a special providence in it, for it was brought to my office 
at the moment I took up my pen to write you. I spent two 
or three hours yesterday with Mr. Torrey ; and he spoke of 
you in such terms, that I determined to write you. The 
whole case of Mr. Torrey is this : after his conviction, I was 
consulted by Messrs. Leavitt and Chaplin, who came from 
Washington to see me ; and I agreed to render such profes 
sional aid as was in my power, feeling also personal sympathy 
and kindness for him and his family. * * I have had free 
intercourse, and now have, with Mr. T., as his counsel, and 
have endeavored to prepare the way for an application for 
his pardon. * * There are reasons, which convince me, that 
unless the party injured, (I speak of course in the dialect of a 
slave State, where slaves are by law property,) is satisfied, 
no application for pardon will be ever entertained. It is my 
impression, that if that can be done, there is a chance to suc 
ceed. I have no authority, however, to say he will be par 
doned, but I believe there is a fair prospect. Mr. Torrey 
complains bitterly of pains in his brain and in his heart ; and 
I was yesterday impressed with the conviction that he is wear 
ing out. He is about, and works when he pleases, and as he 
pleases, but does but little. * * I communicated to him the 
decision of his friends in Boston, that they could not aid him 
at present, and urged him to try to keep up good spirits, as 
suring him that I should not give up his case. He has, how 
ever, now, evidently no hope of release. And I have always 


felt, that whenever hope left him, he would break down. If 
you think the means can be procured, the present is perhaps 
a favorable time. 

"With this, the efforts of Prof. Cleveland and ourself 
began. Having satisfied ourselves, by correspondence and by 
a personal visit to Baltimore, that there was every reason to 
expect early and complete success, the appeal was made, per 
sonally and by circular, for funds. The answer was prompt 
and generous amply sufficient, in money and pledges, to 
meet all the pecuniary demands of the case. Not unfrequently 
the donations were of such a character, and accompanied with 
such expressions of sympathy for Mr. Torrey as brought 
tears to our eyes as we opened and read the letters convey 
ing them. In one instance a worthy friend, learning of the 
effort, set off, of his own motion, through his county, and sent 
us as the result of his labors, one hundred dollars. In an 
other case, we wrote to a single individual, asking five dol 
lars, and he sent us ten. In numbers of instances, more was 
given than was solicited. In several, liberal contributions 
were made by persons who thoroughly condemned Mr. Tor- 
rey s conduct. In one of these, the donor, after condemning 
Mr. Torrey s proceedings in the strongest terms, concluded 
by saying that still he did not think it would be doing just as 
he would be done by, to do nothing for his release, and he 
therefore enclosed twenty dollars. 

" With the fund secured, no labor was spared, by us or the 
counsel at Baltimore, to secure a favorable result. We made 
three journeys to Baltimore, and conducted a very extended 
correspondence in reference to it. We have now over twenty 
letters on the subject from the counsel alone, each of which 
required an answer, and some of them a long one. The coun 
sel corresponded extensively also with other persons ; and, in 
fact, devoted most of his time, for more than three months, to 
the case. The result is known. It disappointed him and us 
entirely. True, as the Baltimore Patriot stated soon after 


the letter of Prof. Cleveland and ourselves to the governor 
appeared, the governor had never authorized any one to say, 
in so many words, that he would pardon Mr. Torrey on any 
terms. But some of his intimate personal and political friends 
had intimated their belief that he would, and stated the terms 
on which they believed he would do it, and this after con 
versation with him in respect to it. The same belief was 
the result of an informal and direct interview with the gov 
ernor by our own counsel. The truth, however, in the end, 
became clear. The governor and his slaveholding masters 
never meant to release Mr. Torrey, until he was virtually a 
dead man. When they intimated that in order to his pardon 
this obstacle must be removed, and then that, and then a third, 
and so on, it was only to gain time, and not to release their 
victim until he was at the grave s mouth, if at all. For three 
months or more, the governor had the subject virtually be 
fore him ; for three long weeks he had it before him in form. 
He knew, all this time, that Mr. Torrey was hastening to the 
grave that he could not live long where he was. Yet, when 
urged, by the venerable Dr. Ide, to a decision, he, the gov 
ernor of a sovereign State, must needs consult a slaveholding 
grand jury of his own county to know whether he might ex 
ercise the executive prerogative of pardon ! Did ever slave 
cringe more submissively to his master ? Was ever vengeance 
more implacable to its victim ? Mr. Torrey at once saw the 
issue, and, with Christian confidence, resigned himself to it. 
Friends, as they saw him, bade him a last adieu." 

Visit of Dr. Ide to the Governor of Maryland. 

" I visited the governor to intercede for his immediate de 
cision in Mr. Torrey s case. But after all I could say, he 
coolly deferred_the whole subject to April, till after the grand 
jury of Prince George s county should meet and give their 
opinion in relation to it. 


" When I returned and communicated the result of my mis 
sion to Mr. Torrey, it was intensely interesting as well as 
deeply affecting, to witness the working of his mind. Watch 
ing with an anxious look every word that was said, at the close 
of the narrative he instantly replied, That is to decide against 
me ; I expected it would be so. Here he paused a moment, 
and said again, Well, I may as well die here as anywhere. 
If it is the will of God, I am willing to. And for some time 
he laid hold of considerations in the government of God, which 
seemed to buoy up his spirits. But at length he burst into 
tears and said, This (meaning the decision of the governor) 
will distress me some time when I am alone. Here the cir 
cumstances of his wife and children, the thought of seeing 
them no more, quite overcame him for a time. Our parting 
was an affecting one ; Heft him, expecting to see him no more." 

" Baltimore, April 9, 1846. 

" Rev. and dear Sir, Your good letter was read by me 
yesterday, just after I had returned from a visit to Mr. Tor 
rey. I found him weaker than he was last week, and less 
able to converse without interruption from coughing and want 
of breath, but in a most enviable state of mind ; as he seems 
to have cast all his cares on God, and to have received a ful 
filment of the precious Scripture promise, As thy days, so 
shall thy strength be. I do not know that he is failing very 
fast, but I should not be surprised to hear that he had gone to 
his rest in heaven, any day. Rev. R. B. Hubbard, of Worces 
ter, and Dr. Bellows, of Charlestown, accompanied me to the 
prison yesterday, both of whom he recognized as his friends. 
The warden has very kindly allowed me to visit him as often 
as I could ; and I usually pray with him, at his request. I 
read a long and beautiful letter to Mr. Torrey a few days ago, 
from brother Phelps, giving him an account of his recent pro 

" You inquire concerning the state of feeling towards him in 


Maryland, and the prospect of his pardon by the governor. In 
reply I may say that I think most of the people in the State 
would be willing that he should be released, if they knew 
just the state of his health ; and many in this city feel very 
strongly on the subject ; but I do not believe that the execu 
tive will deem it expedient ever to grant his pardon. I have 
always thought the same. I see no hope, therefore, for him, 
and we must all commit his body and soul to the mercy and 
love of Him who had not where to lay his head, and who died 
to redeem us from the eternal captivity of sin. 

"I was sorry to hear that Mrs. Torrey is yet unwell. 
May she find her Savior precious at this time of her sore 
trial, and may her spirit be refined to the purity of angels, by 
this seven times heated furnace of affliction. 

" Mr. Rowe and family wish to be particularly and indi 
vidually remembered to you and your daughter. They often 
speak of you, and pray for you, and we all feel towards you 
as towards a father and sister. 

" I design to visit Mr. Torrey again before long, and will 
write you the result. Perhaps some of his friends will come 
to Baltimore soon, as I think he cannot live many weeks. 

I am, dear sir, very respectfully and very affectionately, 
Yours, PORTER H. SNOW." 

"Baltimore, April 22, 1846. 

" Rev. and dear Sir, As I have just returned from the 
prison, I know you would like to receive a line from me re 
specting Mr. Torrey. He is very low indeed. I met Dr. 
Gibson this morning, just before I saw Mr. Torrey, and he 
informed me that he could not live more than two weeks, and 
he might not survive one week longer. He is very weak, per 
spires profusely at night, and is sinking rapidly to his grave. 
I conversed with him for about half an hour, and he ex 
pressed resignation to his fate. He was less clear and ex 
plicit concerning his feelings than when I have seen him be- 



fore ; owing, I think, to his low state, and perhaps somewhat 
to the medicine he takes. I told him that he could not live 
many days, and that I hoped all would be well with him 
when his spirit took its flight. He replied that he trusted irt 
Christ, and could leave all with him. He wished me to say to 
you, in answer to an inquiry in a letter, either from yourself 
or Mrs. Torrey, that he wrote the tale referred to, at Wash 
ington, in 1842. 

" I have great confidence in Mr. T., and cannot but believe 
that he will soon be with his Savior and God in heaven. 
Mr. Kline, one of the officers in the prison, conversed with me 
about him this morning ; and I was happy to hear him ex 
press a good opinion of Mr. T., as he has often seen him and 
talked with him. Mr. Kline believes that he has always 
acted conscientiously, and that he now manifests Christian re^- 
signation in view of death. 

"You will not be surprised, dear sir, to hear of Mr. Tor* 
rey s death any day. Have you any directions to give re 
specting his funeral and burial? I will do anything you di 
rect, in the event of his death. May we hope to see you or 
any of your family in Baltimore soon ? 

Yours, very respectfully, and in the bonds of Christ, 


"Baltimore, May 4, 184G. 

" Mr. Torrey is rapidly failing. It is not probable he will 
last a week longer. His mind is clear, his faith strong, hi* 
hope an anchor that binds him in unwavering confidence to 
his Savior. He is a happy man. Oh that his murderers could 
but feel one moiety of that love to man that has brought 
him there, or of that love to God which makes him happy 
there, in spite of all their deridings and traducings. But this 
is not the object of this letter. ***** 
Yours, truly, 



" Baltimore, May 8, 1846. 

"Dear friend Ide, I have been to visit Mr. Torrey this 
morning, and find him just alive. He had a hemorrhage last 
night, and it was thought that he would not live till morning ; 
but he is yet spared to us. I found him rather delirious and 
very feeble. His pulse only flutters. He knew me, and said 
a few precious words of faith and resignation. Dear man ! 
It is hard for him to die in prison. * Sick and in prison, and 
ye visited me, said he. How kind was Jesus to combine these 
two circumstances, and make them a climax in his specifica 
tions he may have thought of me. These are our dear 
brother Torrey s words. It was a trial for me to sit by his 
cot and notice his pain, his eyes once so bright and sparkling 
now lustreless, his face pale and ghastly, his whole appear 
ance like that of a man just about to die. He may survive 
R day or two ; but as he expectorated some half a gill of blood 
last night, and looks so death-like now, 1 think he will have 
embraced his Savior in heaven, before this line reaches you. 
I do not think he can live more than a day or two longer. I 
cannot write you a long letter now, as I wish I could. I have 
visited him often since you left, and shall go to the prison to 
day again. All things have been arranged as you directed. 
Mr. Rowe will write you, the hour he hears of his death. 
Dr. Gibson is not in town ; but Dr. Wm. F. Peabody, the gen 
tleman you met at our house, will attend to your requests con 
cerning the preparation of the body to be carried to Boston. 
Let us look to God for support under our trials, arid may we 
be prepared for our own dissolution. Perhaps you will send 
this line at once to your father, as I cannot write him to-day. 
Tender my love to the afflicted friends at Medvvay, and as 
sure them of my deep love to the sick, imprisoned disciple 
of Jesus, who is so dear to them. 

Yours, in the bonds of Christian affection, 



[Letter from Rev. Mr. Smalley, of Worcester.] 

" At the request of the officers and other members of my 
church, I recently visited Baltimore to see the Rev. Charles 
T. Torrey. I left Worcester May the 4th, and arrived at 
Baltimore on the morning of the next day. As early as 
practicable on the following morning, I started for the prison. 
On being introduced to the Warden of the prison, I stated to 
him my object, and asked him if he would grant me permis 
sion to visit the prisoner. He very cheerfully assented to 
my request, and in a few moments I was in the hospital of 
the prison. Mr. T. was prostrate upon his bed, and so much 
emaciated that, for an instant, I could hardly believe that it 
was the Mr. T. that I formerly knew. With a smile of re 
cognition, he extended his "thin and feverish hand to me, and 
expressed his grateful emotions that he had not been forgot 
ten by his friends at the North in his trials and affliction*. 
He seemed to be in a very desirable frame of mind ; and 
spoke of the present and the future with entire resignation 
of spirit. At his request I administered the Sacrament of 
the Lord s Supper to him. It was indeed a solemn and im 
pressive scene. He appeared to be lost in devout and grate 
ful contemplation of the Redeemer, and though unable to say 
much, he obviously felt that the promises of that precious 
Savior were full of hope and consolation. The emotions of 
that hour cannot be easily forgotten. 

" He is obviously in the last stages of consumption. It has 
been a cause of wonder to some, that his friends do not make 
efforts to obtain his pardon and remove him to the North, 
that he may die in the bosom of his family. It is enough 
perhaps to say respecting this, that he has not strength to en 
dure one half of the fatigue of a removal. I do not believe, 
that with the utmost care, he would survive a removal even 


as far as Philadelphia. Could he be removed from the pris 
on to the kind attentions of some private family near, he 
might be rendered more comfortable. Where he is, he has 
perhaps all the comforts that could reasonably be expected. 
The wardens and officers seem to be very well disposed to 
wards him ; and they were very ready to aid me in minister 
ing to his consolation. But to be sick in prison, with the 
prisoner s dress suspended over one s head, with no other at 
tendance than can be afforded in the hospital of a prison, 
with no wife, or mother, or sister, to smooth the pillow, or 
throw an air of neatness around the room, with none but 
strangers to call upon for aid : O the picture need not be 
filled out in order to show us that it is horrible beyond de 

The first notice of Mr. Torrey s death was by the follow 
ing letter addressed to Mr. N. E. Ide, of Boston : 

"Baltimore, May 9, 1846. 

"Our Torrey the slaves Torrey the world s Torrey is 
no more. The God of the oppressed has called him to his 
reward. His pardon has long been signed and sealed by the 
King of kings ; and this afternoon at three o clock, a mes 
senger from the Court of Heaven came down and opened the 
prison doors, and set him free ! And he is now the wonder 
and joy of the heavenly host. Methinks to-night there are 
new songs in heaven. * Inasmuch as ye have done it to one 
of the least of these, ye have done it to me. Enter thou 
into the joy of thy Lord. " 

[From the Baltimore Saturday Visitor.] 

" Charles T. Torrey is at last gone, freed from prison with 
out the aid of the governor, leaving the funds offered to the 
owners of the slaves for whom he suffered the heavy penalty 


of the law, for his release, in the hands of those who will no 
doubt properly appropriate it to the wants of his bereaved 
wife and children, which is well. He died at three o clock, 
P. M., on the 9th instant, with that calmness and resignation 
which became him, and yet hardly to be anticipated in a death 
watched over only by the prison officials, rather than by the 
friends of his home and heart, whose soothing voices and care 
ful ministrations are no trifles in the estimation of the departing; 
Mr. Torrey s disease, as our readers are aware, was pulmon 
ary consumption, to which he was predisposed, both of his 
parents having died of it, we believe but which was no 
doubt developed by the influences of prison life, and would 
probably have withheld its fatal grasp many a year if not 
entirely. His dying symptoms were pretty much those of 
all consumptive patients. A slight hemorrhage from the 
lungs was the only marked indication of the solemn crisis. 
This took place a day or two before his death, and brought 
away so little blood, that it would have been by no means 
important, if arising from a less urgent cause than the utter 
rottenness of the pulmonary vessels from which it came. 

11 Mr. Torrey s body was put under the control of those 
who kindly consented to act for his friends, and after being 
prepared for its journey by arsenous injections into the ar 
teries, was placed in a neat cherry coffin, which was lined 
with zinc, and in which a pane of glass was arranged in or 
der to avoid the necessity of opening it to the view of the 
crowd of anxious relatives and friends, who, no doubt, awaited 
its arrival at the place of destination." 

To the above we subjoin the following, from a private note 
of one of the friends in Baltimore, to whom the care of Mr. 
Torrey s remains were committed. The writer says : 

" During the performance of the melancholy duties of pre 
paring the body of the departed Torrey, I embraced the OD- 


portunity to enter into conversation with several of the offi 
cers relative to his last, hours. The deputy warden was with 
him to the last, and seemed quite attached to him. He said 
that Torrey was perfectly conscious to the last breath, 
though unable to speak. He sat four hours by his bed-side, 
wetting his lips with an acid water, and ministering as far as 
possible to his comfort ; for which he repeatedly expressed 
his gratitude in signs and looks that much affected him. His 
exit was perfectly calm and peaceful. He died without a 
groan or struggle ; and with every indication of a happy state 
of mind. He had no doubt as to his piety ; nor had any offi 
cer in the institution." 




The body of Mr. Torrey had been asked by his friends, of 
the -prison physician for burial. This request was assented 
to. Immediately, as soon as the news of his death reached 
Boston, a few of his friends were called together, to make ar 
rangements for his burial. Directions were sent to Balti 
more to have the body partially embalmed, and it arrived in 
a state of almost perfect preservation. The funeral was ap 
pointed at the Park-street Church, but for some reason, the 
full board of directors in that church, withdrew the consent, 
that had been given by the chairman, and the place was 
changed to the Tremont Temple. On Monday, the 19th 
of May, at three o clock, P. M., this spacious room was filled 
to its utmost capacity. The colored people thronged in great 
numbers to pay the last tribute of respect to one who had suf 
fered so much for their kinsmen according to the flesh. The 
following account of the funeral is taken from the Christian 
Reflector : 



" We were present on Monday afternoon, at the funeral of 
the Rev. Charles T. Torrey. The body had been subjected 
to a temporary embalming, and so hermetically sealed, as not 
to be in the least offensive. While we looked through the 
glass upon his pale, but not greatly changed countenance, we 
thought of the days when we saw it sparkling with life, and 
beaming with benevolence as he plead for the rights of hu 
manity, and for the poor and down-trodden slave. And 
while we envied not the abettors of slavery and oppression 
who had wrung from their victim the last drop of anguish 
which persevering hate and cruelty could extort, with mingled 
but no ordinary pleasure, we followed his released spirit up 
to its joyful welcome among the benevolent, to those scenes 
of bliss and joy where tyrants never come. 

. The Scriptures were read on the occasion by the Rev. 
Jotham Horton, of the Methodist connection. The first 
prayer was offered by Rev. N. Colver, and the closing 
prayer by Rev. J. C. Webster. The sermon* which was 
thrilling and eloquent, was delivered by Rev. J. C. Lovejoy, 
brother to the martyr of liberty in the West. His discourse 
was founded upon Psalm cv. 48 : Whose feet they hurt with 
fetters ; he was laid in irons. He vindicated the character 
and the deeds of the deceased, gave many interesting sketch 
es of his life, detailed at considerable length the circumstan 
ces which led to his arrest, the events of his trial, the exerci 
ses of his mind while enduring his cruel and unjust imprison 
ment, gave extracts from some of his letters to his wife and 
friends (written before and after his conviction,) and descri 
bed the state of his mind and his firm trust in his Savior in 
the hour of death. Many parts of the discourse produced a 
deep impression upon the vast auditory especially where 
the speaker quoted the words of the deceased, when, in Ian- 


guage worthy of the hest martyrs of the church, he declared 
his unalterable determination to die in prison, rather than ad 
mit that in the act for which he was condemned, he had vio 
lated any precept of the Christian religion. 

" There were more than three thousand persons present on 
the occasion. The spacious temple was full to overflow 
ing, and multitudes could not gain admittance. The entire 
platform was occupied by ministers of different denomina 
tions, and many more seated below for whom there was not 
room on the platform. Among the auditory, and towards 
whom all hearts turned with the liveliest sympathy, were 
seen the widow and children of the lion-hearted Torrey. 
His father-in-law, the venerable Rev. Dr. Ide, of Bled way, 
was also present. A tender arid subdued grief and a deep so 
lemnity pervaded the vast assembly. Well might they weep. 
Tears were not inappropriate as they regarded the murdered 
victim of a system of atrocious and unsurpassed iniquity 
which involves the sin of the nation. Many felt the appro 
priateness of the apostolic injunction, to weep with those 
that weep, as they looked upon the stricken, smitten ones, 
and thought of the cause of that desolation. O, it was that 
the heart of that husband of that father, was too full of the 
gushings of humanity. O, it was that that commended him. 
to the deep admiration and love of his wife and friends, and 
saints and angels, and Christ, which had made him the early 
victim of the tyrant s hate. 

" Well, it is over ! * Torrey sleeps in his grave ! But, 
* though dead, he yet speaketh, and his martyr death shall 
yet tell upon the liberty of sighing bondmen for whom he 
died. The silent tears which fell around the bier of the Rev. 
Charles T. Torrey, bore witness to the more than Hannibal 
vow of eternal hatred to slavery. Many, we doubt not, in 
the very spirit of Christ, pledged themselves anew to re 
member those that are in bonds as bound with them. A col 
lection was taken at the close to erect a monument over his 


grave. Its office will merely be to mark the place where his 
body lies he will need no such monument to perpetuate the 
memory of his name ; its shrine will be in every benevolent 
heart, and while humanity flows, it will be held in sweet re 
membrance. It shall be remembered that one there was who 
would sooner die himself than betray a friend to the slave in 
to the hand of the tyrants that one there was who would 
sympathize with the enslaved, the down-trodden and the de 
spised of men, even unto death, and that one was the Rev. 
Charles Turner Torrey. 

" The following appropriate hymn was prepared by Rev. 
Mr. Colver, and sung on the occasion. 

Go to the grave, in all thy glorious prime, 

In full activity of zeal and power; 
A Christian cannot die before his time ; 

The Lord s appointment is the servant s hour. 

Go to the grave : at noon from labors cease ; 

Rest on thy sheaves ; thy harvest task is done ; 
Come from the heat of hattle, and in peace ; 
Soldier, go home ; with thee the fight is won. 

1 Go to the grave from prison walls released ; 

Where tyrants bound thee for thy work of love ! 
Thy sufferings ended, for the poor oppressed, 
Go up and rest thee, with thy Lord above. 

Go to the grave : no : take thy seat on high, 
Near Mercy s throne, where tyrants never come ; 

Let thy pure spirit bask in love and joy, 
And dwell forever with thy Lord at home. 

" A number of the friends of the deceased followed his re 
mains to Mount Auburn cemetery. 

"In the evening, a large meeting, in further commemora 
tion of the many virtues and rare deeds of Mr. Torrey, was 
held at Faneuil Hall. Gen. Samuel Fessenden, of Maine, 
presided, assisted by Ellis Gray Loring and Francis Jackson, 
Esqs. of Boston, as vice presidents, and Messrs J. G. Whit- 


tier, Geo. Minot, and Richard Hildreth, as secretaries. Rev. 
Mr. Hatch, of the Methodist church, opened the meeting with 
prayer; after which an interesting and eulogistic letter was 
read, from Hon. Stephen C. Phillips, of Salem, by Rev. Joshua 
Leavitt. Addresses were made by Gen. Fessenden, Henry 
B. Stanton, Dr. Walter Channing, and Rev. Mr. Lovejoy. 
A beautiful poem, from the pen of James Russell Lowell, was 
read to the meeting by Dr. Channing. 

" Thus has the body of our departed brother been consigned 
to its last resting place. We trust his spirit is now where the 
slave is free from his master, and the wicked cease from troub 
ling. Thus has another victim to the American Moloch 
been buried with suitable honors by his sympathizing friends. 
When the mists of prejudice and error are dissipated by the sun 
of truth when slavery is numbered among the things that 
were, then will posterity do justice to the heroic deeds, the 
active humanity, the courageous virtue of the Christian mar 

Conclusion, by J. G. Whittier. 

"We conclude this affecting detail, with the following 
touching remarks of J. G. Whittier, in the Essex Transcript: 

Some seven years ago, we saw Charles T. Torrey for the 
first time. His wife was leaning on his arm young, loving 
and beautiful ; the heart that saw them blessed them. Since 
that time, we have known him as a most energetic and zeal 
ous advocate of the anti-slavery cause. He had fine talents, 
improved by learning arid observation ; a clear, intensely ac 
tive intellect, and a heart full of sympathy and genial humani 
ty. It was with strange and bitter feelings that we bent over 
his coffin and looked upon his still face. The pity which we 
had felt for him in his long sufferings, gave place to indignation 
against his murderers. Hateful beyond the power of expression 
seemed the tyranny which had murdered him with the slow- 
torture of the dungeon. May God forgive us, if for the mo- 


ment we felt like grasping His dread prerogative of vengeance. 
As we passed out of the Hall, a friend grasped our hand hard, 
his eye flashing through its tears, with a stern reflection of our 
own emotions, while he whispered through his pressed lips : 
* It is enough to turn every anti-slavery heart into steel. Our 
blood boiled; we longed to see the wicked apologists of sla 
very the blasphemous defenders of it in church and State 
led up to the coffin of our murdered brother, and there made 
to feel that their hands had aided in riveting the chain upon 
those still limbs, and in shutting out from those cold lips the 
free breath of heaven. 

" A long procession followed his remains to their resting 
place at Mount Auburn. A monument to his memory will 
be raised in that cemetery, in the midst of the green beauty 
of the scenery which he loved in life and side by side with 
the honored dead of Massachusetts. Thither let the friends 
of humanity go to gather fresh strength from the memory of 
the martyr. There let the slaveholder stand, and as he reads 
the record of the enduring marble, commune with his own 
heart, and feel that sorrow which worketh repentance. 

" The young, the beautiful, the brave ! he is safe now 
from the malice of his enemies. Nothing can harm him more. 
His work for the poor and helpless was well and nobly done. 
In the wild woods of Canada, around many a happy fireside 
and holy family altar, his name is on the lips of God s poor. 
He put his soul in their soul s stead ; he gave his life for those 
who had no claim on his love save that of human brotherhood. 
How poor, how pitiful and paltry seem our own labors ! How 
small and mean our trials and sacrifices t May the spirit of the 
dead be with us, and infuse into our hearts something of his 
own deep sympathy, his hatred of injustice, his strong faith 
and heroic endurance. May that spirit be gladdened in its 
present sphere, by the increased zeal and faithfulness of the 
friends he has left behind." 


Extracts from the Sermon preached at the Funeral of 
Mr. Torrey. 

Lamentations 3: 53. "They haA T e cut off my life in the dungeon." 
Psalm 105 : 8. " Whose feet they hurt with fetters ; he was laid in iron." 

" Words are powerless to-day. They entirely fail to ut 
ter the deep emotions which swell every bosom. A deed has 
been done which covers Maryland with indelible disgrace ; 
a deed which ought to shroud Massachusetts in mourning and 
the whole land in gloom. Torrey is no more ! The cruel 
murder of a righteous man, for acts of mercy, has been con 
summated by the slow torture of confinement in the prison of 
one of the sovereign States of Christian America. 

" Slavery enjoys another triumph. Every true-hearted 
friend of human liberty throughout the world will weep ; and 
with united voice exclaim, Wo, wo to the hand that shed this 
costly blood. I have said the lamented, early-wept Torrey 
is no more. His mortal remains lie indeed beneath you ; but 
he has just begun to live. I say this, not only in reference 
to that happy immortality to which his soaring spirit has been 
made thrice welcome ; but I say it in reference to what he 
will be and do on the earth. When a single event in the life 
of an individual stands prominent and alone, as th-c one thing 
by which he is chiefly known ; when thousands know him by 
this one act, there arises at once an interest and anxiety to 
know if all parts of the character shall correspond to what is 
known ; if the admiration excited, will be sustained by an in 
timate acquaintance with the whole character. 

" There is grandeur in a solitary mountain ; but the sus 
tained feeling of sublimity can only rest upon the rolling 
ridges that stretch away far as the eye can reach. We ad 
mire a single noble act ; but who does not rejoice to see it 
surrounded by groups of noble principles and lofty achieve 
ments ? 


" With what anxiety, then, do we approach to uncover the 
face of the illustrious dead ; to read the history which we long 
to know, and yet which we almost dread to trace. It was 
with something of this feeling, I frankly confess, I began to 
open the papers of our lamented friend. Thank God, though 
his life has been taken, his character and reputation are safe* 
Truth will now gush forth from pure fountains, and wash 
away the spots that the malicious and the thoughtless have; 
attempted to fasten upon his character. 

We tell thy doom without a sigh, 
For thou art freedom s now, and fame s ; 
One of the few immortal names 
That were not born to die. 

" Those who choose may echo, the slaves stolen by Tor 
rey/ but they will never produce the conviction, on the 
minds of this or any future age, that Mr. Torrey was a thief. 
You may shut his body out of your sanctuary,* but you can 
not exclude his spirit from the upper sanctuary. The impar 
tial verdict of this and future ages will be, Mr. Torrey wa& 
cruelly murdered for a righteous act, to glut the vengeance of 
slaveholders and uphold the darling institution of slavery. 

" The sentence of the court of Maryland has already been 
repealed in that higher and impartial court, where human ac 
tions are rightly weighed. Every spot upon his reputation, 
here, for acts of mercy to the oppressed, has become a bright 
and shining star in his diadem of glory there. Nor will the 
honor you do him, rest upon the momentary excitement of 
the present occasion. While genius, energy and courage,, 
robed in the milder virtues of piety and benevolence, shall be 
admired, the name of Torrey will be honored. 

" I never blamed him for the attempt to escape from jail, 
but only that there was not sufficient care to make it success- 

* Park Street church was refused after it had once been granted for 
the funeral ! 



ful. Let those who censure Mr. Torrey, put themselves in 
his condition. Conscious of no crime ; the recording angel 
had already written over against the acts of mercy of which 
he was accused : he shall be recompensed at the resurrection 
of the just. His enemies were many, and they were strong. 
He must be tried by a wicked law, before a slaveholding court 
and jury, with parties arrayed against him ready to prove 
anything necessary for his conviction ; was it wrong for him 
to escape as a bird from the hand of the fowler ? Let those 
who think so, condemn our ancestors, who often escaped from 
captivity among the Indian tribes ; for I do not hesitate to say 
that the ancient Delawares, that trod the shores of the Chesa 
peake, were angels of mercy compared to the present genera 
tion of slaveholders in Maryland. Let them keep a part of 
their indignation for the captives who have escaped from Al- 
gerine bondage, and for Paul the apostle, who was let down, 
in a basket, through a window, that he might escape. 

"But Mr. Torrey was imprisoned according to law ; and 
respect for the laws of the land should have kept him from 
the unlawful mode of escape. He may have erred ; but he 
had a most illustrious example, in the case of his apostolic type 
the bold, the ardent, and, if you insist upon it, the rash Si 
mon Peter was once in prison by command of the king ; and 
an angel was sent, all the way from heaven, to slip the bolts, 
open the doors, and let him out. When the crier calls the court 
for the trial of Peter and the angel, the friends of Mr. Tor 
rey will be there to answer for him. 

" But most bitterly did he atone for this attempt to break 
jail. For twelve days his feet were hurt with fetters ; he 
was laid in iron, irons that weighed twenty-five pounds. 
His situation at this time beggars all description. Surrounded 
by persecutors, bitter and cruel, betrayed by one of the inmates 
of the prison, sick, heavily ironed, there was but one angel of 
mercy, save myriads of the unseen, around him. That minister 
of kindness was John Stewart, an Irishman. l But for him, 


says Mr. Torrey, * 1 should not have survived those twelve days 
of the reign of terror and cruelty. It may well be supposed that 
such facts as I have narrated, known and published abroad, 
excited no small interest in his behalf. Yet from the point of 
view we now look at it, we marvel at the cold hearted indif 
ference and want of interest in his fate. To the honor of a 
few; I believe it is no injustice to say that it was mostly con 
fined to those technically called abolitionists, money was freely 
contributed, able counsel was employed to do all that might be 
done, to rescue him from the unjust sufferings to which he was 
exposed. From the day of his arrest to that of his death, a 
few friends did all they could for his relief. An effort to bail 
him out of the loathsome jail in Baltimore, during the long 
and sultry days of summer, was not successful. The weary 
months wore round, that brought him before the court of Ma 
ryland for trial. False witnesses were not wanting before the 
jury. They swore in many instances, perhaps, to what was 
true, but they did not know it to be true. The court, with 
their prejudices against Mr. Torrey, were perhaps as impar 
tial as you could expect. The prosecuting officer was rather 
magnanimous than overbearing. But there was the consent of 
these judges to the execution of a wicked law the aid of this 
State s attorney in the conviction and punishment of an inno 
cent man. Rather than partake in such a crime, they should 
have vacated their seats and offices forever. 

" But what shall I say of his own counsel, the Hon. Re- 
verdy Johnson ? I thank him for his generosity, but I do 
not thank him for his fatal admission in the very exordium of 
his argument. At the close of a touching allusion to his wife, 
then present in court, he said, she has come to witness the 
probable adverse termination of this trial. He repeated this 
admission by an allusion to his imprisonment, and the long 
years of lonely separation that must follow. This, in my 
opinion, was a wrong and fatal admission. It was, in fact, 
giving the whole case over into the hands of the prosecutors. 


Mr. Torrey must have felt it as cutting the last straw of hope 
left him. 

" Such a feeble effort for the delivery of an innocent man, 
contrasts sadly with the almost superhuman efforts of eminent 
counsel, often, to deliver men whose hands are red with blood. 
The jury were out only twenty minutes, and brought in a 
verdict of guilty. * * 

" Thus lived, and thus died in the thirty-third year of his 
age, the young, ardent, and self-devoted Torrey. Is not the 
simple story of his life, the most triumphant vindication of his 
character ? 

"But he was rash had faults, and great ones, say his 
enemies ; admitted ; what then ? Can you put your finger on 
one bold and fearless man, more governed by his own un 
doubted convictions than by popular feeling, who has not 
faults, and great faults too ? And yet there will be carrion 
heaths, as Carlyle would call them ignorant or hard-hearted 
men, who will have no other balm for these wounded hearts, 
than the sneering cry, * Died Torrey as the fool dieth. I 
tell you nay, his life was not thrown away. Estimate the 
priceless value of personal, social and religious liberty to some 
hundreds of slaves, emancipated by his instrumentality to 
them and their posterity, and is it not worth one life ? I say 
it here, I say it everywhere, from the side of every martyr s 
grave-stone, in the old world and the new; I whisper it 
in the ear of the master, I proclaim it aloud in the ear of the 
slave, the proper price of one man s liberty, is one man s 
life. No man ought ever to consent to be a slave. No 
man ought to consent to be the father of a slave; and 
no woman should ever press a slave child to the sacred foun 
tain of life. God gave her an immortal spirit, to be nurtured 
as from her own life ; and will she receive a chattel, a thing, 
from the hands of a master ? And if any of the race of Adam 
have fallen so low, that they prize life more than liberty, they 
need redemption ; nothing but vicarious suffering, even to 


death nothing but the groans and grave-stones of martyrs, 
will awaken such to gird on the armor of their manhood and 
show themselves men. 

" Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid 
down his life for us ; and we ought to lay down our lives for 
the brethren Where, and when, if not for our brethren 
among the slaves of the South ; yea, for the entire mass of 
the slaves ; and the lower their degradation, the louder is the 
call for redemption. And from the prison-tomb, where Torrey 
died, an earthquake-voice will go forth, which will shake all 
the wide domain of slavery ; and many of the saints that are 
in the grave of liberty, will come forth and be free. His 
death will be the beginning of the Hegira of the slave. 

"Already I see them, in scores and by hundreds, crossing 
the long line of border, and treading with new and wonder 
ing emotions, a soil partially free the transition strata be 
tween bondage and freedom. Elastic youth and grey-haired 
age wake at the first plaintive call of the fugitive horses of 
all colors, and vehicles of all descriptions, are harnessed to 
facilitate their march ; when the stars fail, lamps and torches 
supply their places, and the wondering traveller upon the 
lake exclaims, as he sees them rushing to its shores, * who 
are these that fly as clouds and as doves to their windows ? 
all along these hidden ways cast up for the ransomed to re 
turn ways, which the vulture eye of Slavery cannot find ! 
The watchword is, Torrey and Liberty ! 

" The life and death of Mr. Torrey will convince thou 
sands, simply by drawing attention to the subject and securing 
its discussion of the righteousness and expediency of direct 
efforts to assist the slaves, individually, to their freedom. So 
far from having gone beyond the limits of a strict morality* 
in what he did to assist the slave in his escape, he has left a 
wide margin to be trodden by those made bolder by his ex 
ample. The truth has yet to be preached to the slaves, at 
the peril of life, if need be, that they do a great wrong every 


day they consent to labor without wages that every slave, 
properly enlightened, who yields for a moment to have his 
family ties sundered, is a sinner before God that the father 
and husband who will not protect, resisting even to blood, the 
innocence of his own family, is worthy to be neither a father 
nor a husband. In short, the duty of the slave to himself 
and his family, to the nation and posterity, is to be fully pro 
claimed and over all the plantations of the south, the slaves 
should come out from their woods, stand in the highway of 
the King of kings and Lord of lords, and call no man mas 
ter upon the earth. There is but one Sovereign of the hu 
man will, and He is in Heaven. The Bible abounds with ap 
propriate texts for such preaching, which is according to 
sound doctrine, and the glorious gospel of the blessed God. 
Fear not them that kill the body, but after that have no more 
that they can do ! In our sickly sentimentalism about hu 
man life, at the present day, we seem to think that there is 
but one life and that of the body the higher, better, im 
mortal life of the soul, is put out, like lamps, in the death 
caverns beneath the earth. If it were necessary for every 
slave father in the south to come forward and offer himself a 
sacrifice for the redemption of his children and posterity, 
I know of no higher duty, of no more acceptable sacrifice. 
Shall a man consent to have the bright image of his God 
erased from his soul his volition destroyed the children of 
his own body, the wife of his bosom, brutalized before his 
eyes, rather than die ? Nay, must he himself consent to the 
violation of every command in the decalogue, for the sake of 
life ? I hope and trust the life and death of Mr. Torrey will 
awaken the nation to a reconsideration of these truths truths 
once written in the blood of our fathers, and on the grave 
stones of the early emigrants to Plymouth rock. Mr. Tor 
rey has showed us again, that there is something worth dying 
for, besides the possibility of gaining wealth in deadly climes, 
or the vain glare of military glory. 


" Yet I would not be too sanguine in estimating the proba 
ble influence of his example and death. I remember that 
South Carolina treads on the necks of your free citizens, im 
prisons them against the express provision of the Constitu 
tion of the United States, and spurns your ambassador from 
her borders with contempt. Slavery robs a weak and peace 
able nation of territory, and then provokes and makes a war, 
without the action of Congress, to wash out her own crime 
in the blood of the innocent. Slavery tramples upon the first 
principle of Protestantism, and denies the word of God to the 
common people ; hurls from her borders, or grinds to powder, 
the materials of five or six printing presses ; murders their 
peaceful owners ; comes into the free states, and captures free 
white citizens, and drags them to a foreign tribunal for trial 
denies the hospitality of the most barbarous nations on 
earth, and demands that the victims of providence the wan 
derers of the Amistad shall be given over to bondage or 
death ; and yet the nation is not aroused ; even Massachu 
setts is not prepared to say she will seek the destruction of 

" "Well, slavery has filled the cup of outrage and insult for 
you, to overflowing. She has taken the priest from the altar 
the father and the husband, and after months of slow tor 
ture the most excruciating a mind like his could feel, his 
lips sealed during the day a dark and cheerless cell at night 
during the lonely long evening, not an inch of candle to 
shine upon the page of God s loved word ! After months of 
such torture as this, slavery has murdered the young, vigor 
ous, social, talented, and pious Torrey ! Now, either shed no 
tear on that early grave, or write there the vow of Hannibal 
eternal war against slavery ! That decision which shall 
arrest the tide of oppression, or decide the question whether 
the free States shall be dragged down into that abyss to 
which slavery seems determined to plunge us, must be made 
in Massachusetts. The question is soon to be decided, wheth- 


er this shall be a land of slavery or a land of freedom! and 
that question rests in no small degree upon the action of this 
State. In the language of another : * As far as the interests 
of freedom are concerned, the most important of sublu 
nary interests, you stand in no small degree the federal rep 
resentatives of the human race. If Liberty, after being 
extinguished in the old world, is suffered to expire here, 
whence is it ever to emerge in that thick night that will in 
vest it? It remains then for you to decide, whether that 
freedom, at whose voice the kingdoms of Europe awake as 
from the sleep of ages, to run a career of virtuous emulation 
in every thing great and good ; the freedom which dispelled 
the mists of superstition, and invited the nations to behold 
their God ; whose magic touch kindled the rays of genius, 
the enthusiasm of poetry, and the flame of eloquence ; the free 
dom which has poured into our lap, opulence and arts, and 
embelished life with innumerable institutions and improve 
ments, till it became a theatre of wonders ; it is for you to 
decide, whether this freedom shall survive, or be covered with 
a funeral pall and wrapt in eternal gloom !" 




Remarks of II B. Stanton, Esq., at Fanueil Hall, the evening 
after the Burial of Mr. Torrey. 

" Mr. President, We have met to praise Torrey, not to 
bury him. 

" That manly and elastic form that glowing eye those 
eloquent lips that lion heart all that was mortal of our 


martyred brother, has been borne to the grave, by those who 
dwell with melancholy pleasure upon the rare virtues and 
noble achievements which have made his life useful, and his 
death calm and glorious. 

" And who, it may be asked, was Charles T. Torrey, that 
we should praise him ? Why should this assembly of Chris 
tian citizens meet in this hallowed hall, to honor one who was 
convicted as a felon, and died in the penitentiary ? 

" Let it be answered, that though he was convicted of hav 
ing violated the laws of a republican State, he was not found 
guilty of violating any of the statutes of the Law-giver of 
the universe. Though he died in a penitentiary, he was not 
a felon before God. Though the court which convicted him, 
would not recommend him to mercy, nor the chief magis 
trate of the State grant him an executive pardon, yet ere 
this, we cannot doubt, that before the tribunal of Heaven, and 
in the presence of serried ranks of angels and the spirits of 
just men made perfect, the Sovereign of worlds has greeted 
him with Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into 
the joy of thy Lord. 

" Then, in honoring him, we honor ourselves. In applau 
ding his deeds, we but render a tribute to the worth of a rare 
ornament of our common humanity. 

" But, am I right ? Was the deed for which he was con 
demned and which cost him his life, approved of Heaven ? 

" So long as it remains true, that the Savior came to 
preach deliverance to the captive and the opening of the pris 
on to the bound ; to break every yoke and let the oppressed 
go free ; so long will it be true, that Torrey was sacrificed and 
murdered for following in the footsteps of the Divine 

" But the voice of eulogy is attempted to be clamored 
down, by the cry that he had violated the laws of a sovereign 
State, and was therefore properly convicted and punished as 
a felon. 


" This cold and cruel cavil deserves a more elaborate an 
swer than the present occasion will allow. A rapid glance 
will disclose the weakness of its foundation. 

"Mr. Torrey was tried and condemned under certain 
statutes of Maryland, for assisting slaves to escape out of 
that State and beyond the reach of the laws which en 
slaved them. The act was done, (if at all,) without vio 
lence, and in contravention of no other statute of that 
State. Now, sir, the laws under which he was condemned, 
have no binding force, because slavery has no constitutional 
existnece in Maryland. The bill of rights, and constitution, 
both of Maryland and Massachusetts, recognize and declare 
the equality of man, and the inalienability of his right to 
liberty. Slavery existed in this commonwealth at the time of 
the adoption of our constitution. Soon after the ratification 
of that instrument, a slave sued for his freedom in our Su 
preme Judicial Court, On solemn deliberation, the judges 
decreed that the clause in our organic law to which I have al 
luded, abolished slavery ; and from that hour slavery ceased 
to exist in Massachusetts. This is sound law, not only here, 
but in all places where the equality of mankind and the in 
herent rights of human nature, are affirmed in any instru 
ment, or recognized in any usage, having the force of law. It 
is a part of the Common law the birth-right charter of ev 
ery member of the Anglo-Saxon family. It is law in Mary 
land, binding upon its law-givers, its courts, and its people ; 
and by force of its provisions, slavery, with all its concomi 
tants and adjuncts, has no real existence there. Then, in the 
act for which he was condemned, Torrey broke no law which 
had not itself previously been shivered to atoms by the weight 
of superior authority. 

" But I assume higher ground. It is impossible to give 
any binding force to statutes which make one man the prop 
erty of another. They are null and void from their own in 
herent injustice. No legislature has a right to enact them, 


no court the right to enforce them. Every step taken in their 
inception is illegal ; every attempt to execute their precepts 
or inflict their penalties, are outrages on justice, and binding 
upon no man. To this point I cite the opinion of one of the 
most eminent lawyers and civilians of modern times, Henry 
Brougham. In 1830, on the floor of the House of Commons, 
and just previous to his taking the Great Seal, while discuss 
ing the rights of the slaveholder and the binding force of 
slave laws, he uttered the following sentiments, worthy, from 
their stern justice, lofty humanity and glowing style, to be the 
epitaph on the tomb of this illustrious friend of human liberty. 

Tell me not of rights, talk not of the property of the 
planter in his slaves. I deny the right I acknowledge not 
the property. The principles, the feelings of our common na 
ture, rise in rebellion against it. Be the appeal made to the 
understanding or to the heart, the sentence is the same that 
rejects it. In vain you tell me of laws that sanction such a 
claim ! There is a law above all the enactments of human 
codes, the same throughout the world the same in all times 
such as it was before the daring genius of Columbus pierced 
the night of ages, and opened to one world the sources of 
power, wealth and knowledge ; to another, all unutterable 
woes ; such as it is at this day it is the law written by the 
finger of God on the heart of man, and by that law, unchange 
able and eternal, while men despise fraud, and loathe rapine, 
and abhor blood, they will reject with indignation the wild 
and guilty phantasy, that man can hold property in man P 

"But I quote infinitely higher authority than this. It 
was enacted by the divine Legislator, eighteen hundred years 
ago, that whatever we would that men should do unto us, 
that ought we to do unto them. And by this law, binding on 
all men through all time, Torrey stands acquitted and ap 
plauded, to-night, before the bar of the Infinite Judge. 

" A deed of dreadful note has been done. A minister of the 
gospel has died under circumstances which have seized and 


tenaciously hold the public attention. Large and influential 
classes of men are in doubt by what name this death should 
be known ; whether it be a personal calamity, a righteous 
retribution, or a legalized murder ; whether the victim should 
be pitied, abhorred, or reverenced. The reputation of the de 
ceased, no less than that of those who took his life the repu 
tation of the sovereign State which sacrificed him, and of the 
nation which looked silently on, demand that these doubts be 
resolved. This deed was not done in a corner ; nor can the 
parties concerned, escape either the scrutiny or the verdict 
of mankind. 

" What, then, was the act for which Torrey suffered and 
died ? Stated in the simplest form, and stripped of all ex 
trinsic ornament, it was this : He aided oppressed men 
peaceably to cast away their chains he gave liberty to men 
unjustly held in bondage. 

" What act, I ask, is more universally applauded than this ? 
Human nature, from the dawn of creation till the present hour, 
has acclaimed it. In all ages, and among all nations, the deeds 
of the liberator have given inspiration to the poet and fervor 
to the orator, and his memory has been held in peculiar reve 
rence. The refined pagans of Greece and Rome exalted him 
among their gods ; the superstitious nations of the middle ages 
made him their titular saint- while Christian States, in mod 
ern times, have showered wreaths upon him when living, 
and built monuments to his memory when dead. This unani 
mous verdict of mankind is recorded on every page of the 
world s history. It is this which covers with unfading lustre 
such names as Washington, Wallace, La Fayette, Kosciusco, 
Bolivar, Howard, and Wilberforce. And if the voice of his 
tory utters but one truth, it is this that all who have become 
martyrs to principle in great struggles for the rights of man, 
have been held in undying remembrance by a grateful pos 

" To this, and this alone, are such men as Russell, Hamp- 


den, and Sydney indebted for their immortal fame. It is this 
which makes the bare mention of such names give a heartier 
throb through the veins of freedom ; and now, as of yore, on 
every stricken field where the oppressed rise against the op 
pressor, they are the watchwords of the struggling bondmen^ 
the very synonymes of liberty. 

"I need to beg pardon for uttering truths so trite words 
so often the mere catch-phrases of the canting demagogue in 
his partisan harangue, the very froth of our fourth of July 
orations. But they are truths not the less because they are 
the common staple of the political hypocrite and the vapid de- 
claimer. And, being truths, they vindicate the deeds and the 
character of Torrey. He has done something for liberty, and 
his name deserves a place in the calendar of its martyrs. Now 
that he is laid quietly and securely in his grave, we may safely 
publish those acts to the world which, while he lived, could 
be safely known only to the few. In a letter addressed to me 
while he was in prison awaiting his trial, he said, If 1 am 
a guilty man, lam a very guilty one; for I have aided nearly 
FOUR HUNDRED slaves to escape to freedom, the greater part 
of whom would probably, but for my exertions, have died in 
slavery." (Prolonged and intense applause.) 


The following sketch of the character of Mr. Torrey is 
from the pen of a clergyman, of great ability, and was origi 
nally published in the True American, of Courtland County, 
New York : 

" Mr. Editor, < Torrey is dead ! I am not telling either 
you, or your readers any news. The sad intelligence has al 
ready reverberated from cell to cell in a southern penitentiary, 
and been wafted upon the wings of the wind to the palace 
and the cottage of both the north and the south. But this 


annunciation should now be a motto for the reflection of ev 
ery American citizen. 

" I knew him well. He pursued his theological course 
within seven miles of my former residence ; and I frequent 
ly saw him in the study, and at the table of his wife s father. 
His then youthful character was without a blemish. Though 
his judgment was far from being matured ; yet, at that early 
day, he possessed a mind of superior order. Active, vigor 
ous, energetic, his soul could no more be quiet or indolent, 
than matter can be the efficient cause of its own motion or 
momentum. He sought and acquired knowledge with facility. 
His gathering up of facts seems to be as natural, and almost 
as much a matter of course, as the taking of his daily food; 
and what he collected, he retained in his mental store-house, 
there treasured and systematised for subsequent use. This 
will account for those exquisitely beautiful and accurately 
graphic narratives, which he sent forth to the public from the 
cells of his prison, and which must have been compiled chief 
ly, if not entirely, from his own recollection. 

" Mr. Torrey s theological system was thorough and ac 
curate ; for he not only possessed a mind to investigate, but 
was furnished with one of the most adequate instructors in. 
the New England ministry. In his preparatory studies, he 
became fixed in the fundamental principles of the gospel, by 
which he was guided in the path of active benevolence. 
Hence, when he entered the ministry, he not only believed 
but preached the doctrine of disinterested love ; and the re 
sult of his eventful life has proved that he practised as well 
as, preached. On this great subject, his actions spoke louder 
than his words ; and now he is dead, he continues to speak. 

" Such a mind as Torrey s, unrestrained by divine grace, 
and unrenewed by the Holy Spirit, must have been wayward, 
fit for treason, stratagems and spoils. But, being brought 
under the controling influence of the gospel, and having the 
love of Christ shed abroad in his heart ; he was eminently 


fitted for energetic and persevering action in the cause of be 
nevolence and humanity. Hence, at almost the commence 
ment of the anti-slavery enterprise in Massachusetts, he was 
found among its most active and efficient advocates. His 
zeal and activity in this holy cause, never diminished, but 
continued to increase with his growing knowledge and obser 
vation of human wo. He has proved, in the face of the 
world, that he loved the slave as a brother. For the benefit 
of the slave, he devoted his time, his energies, and sacrificed 
both his popularity and fairest worldly prospects. For the 
benefit of the slave, he relinquished the sweetest and most en 
dearing enjoyments of the domestic circle. For the benefit 
of the slave he wore out the springs of his physical constitu 
tion. For the benefit of the slave, he laid even his life itself 
upon the altar ! 

" Such a man, and much more than I have described, was 
Rev. Charles Turner Torrey. But, < Torrey is dead? For 
whom did he die ? He died for the slave ! Of what dis 
ease did he die ? He died of a disease induced by the iron 
elog, the murky dungeon, and a subsequent incarceration 
among felons of a penitentiary. Where did he die ? Within 
the precincts of pirates, man-stealers, and those who are con 
stantly imbruting God s image. 

" TORREY is murdered, for aiding a fugitive from slavery ; 
and BAKER is pardoned for piracy, man-stealing, kidnapping, 
or reducing a fellow man to the most cruel and helpless thral 
dom. These infamous and contradictory deeds will forever 
prove an indelible and damning blot upon Maryland s his 
tory and her executive s biography. 

" It is scarcely needful to add, that Mr. Torrey had been 
guilty of no crime. This is known to the citizens of Maryland 
and Gov. Pratt. They knew that the victim of their cruelty 
and vengeance acted only in obedience to the law of God, 
and our Savior s golden rule. They know, that had their 


own children been enslaved by a foreign power, and Mr. Tor- 
rey had rendered to them precisely the same assistance that 
he did to fugitives from their own bloody grasp, they would 
have been the first to heap encomiums upon his name and 
character, and to load him and his family with munificent 

" Our beloved brother who has thus fallen, a martyr to the 
cause of philanthropy, had ten thousand things to tie him to 
the circle of his home. I was acquainted with Mrs. Torrey 
in her earliest childhood. Born, reared and educated, as she 
was, the daughter and in the family of a clergyman, whose 
standing, for intelligence, piety and respectability, will not 
suffer in comparison with any other in New England ; pos 
sessing a sprightly, active and amiable disposition ; and in 
heriting much of the acumen of her grandfather Emmons ;* 
she could hardly help being worthy of the Christian and phi 
lanthropist. His children, too, must not only need a father s 
care, but must have bound him to his family with the strong 
cord of a father s love. These things must all be taken into 
the account, in order to estimate, in any degree, the amount 
of Torrey s sacrifice and self-denial ; as also duly to sympa 
thize with his heart-stricken widow and her fatherless ones. 
She is, indeed, set free from her late awful suspense, and has 
the consolation of an unwavering confidence that her husband 
has entered the saints everlasting rest ; but, the scars of 
these cruel wounds, which slavery has inflicted, she must car 
ry, till she is called to follow liim into the world of spirits. 
But while her heart swells with grief at her husband s incar 
ceration and death, and with holy indignation at his murder 
ers ; it is hoped, that she will console herself with implicit 
confidence in God, who is rendering his martyrdom the heavi 
est blow to American despotism that it has yet received. 

T. M. V. 

* Rev. Dr. Emmons, of Franklin, Massachusetts. 



JFrom the Green Mountain Freeman.] 


* There is a melancholy and touching interest connected 
with the life, and more especially with the death of this good 
man, which must cause every heart to feel. During his whole 
course he manifested by his deeds that his heart was full of 
sympathy and generous humanity. 

" I see him in the days of his boyhood, winning by his 
amiable and modest manners, by his patient, meek and gen 
tle temper, the love of all who knew him ; I see him in his 
youth, devoting himself with every power of his noble intel 
lect to the cause of the Savior and of humanity. It was at this 
period that he imbibed those sentiments of Freedom, Equality 
and Liberty, which gave coloring to his whole future life. 

" During his college course he was studious, high minded 
and generous in every act and feeling ; a noble example to 
all with whom he associated. He had superior talents and a 
noble intellect. His was a mind of no common order. The 
studies requiring in others intense intellectual labor, were 
mere pastimes to him. 

" He enters upon the sacred ministry, devoting every en 
ergy to the service of his Master ; like him, to weep with 
those who weep, to comfort the oppressed, to preach deliver 
ance to the captive. 

" Again I see him he is prison now. Why is he in that 
dark, damp dungeon, far away from his home, his heart-broken 
wife and children ? It is to appease the rage of fiends in hu 
man shape, who were maddened into fury, because this good 
man had dared to follow the dictates of conscience, of hu 
manity, and of the holy Bible. It is because he has dared to 
obey God rather than man, that he is there. The petitions of 
his friends, the prayers of his afflicted wife, to release him, 


were alike unavailing ; and still the tyrants held him with a 
grasp of iron, until, worn down by toil, privation and suffer 
ing, death released the noble sufferer. Go to that prison : he 
is dying now. The hand of death is upon him. In that trying 
hour, he is away from all he holds most dear from his sym 
pathizing friends, from his beloved family ; strangers minister 
to his wants and smooth down his dying pillow. But his 
mind is calm and peaceful. He speaks of the love, the kind 
ness, the compassion of Jesus towards him. He fears no 
evil as he passes through the dark valley of the shadow of 
death, because the Sun of righteousness lightens up its 
gloom with his glorious presence. His hope is fixed upon 
the rock of ages. He fears not to pass over the swelling 
Jordan, because he is upheld by the everlasting arm of 
God. Death has no terror for him. Look at him again ; 
he sleeps ; a smile is upon his lips ; in his countenance there 
is unearthly beauty. His face is calm like the face of an 
angel ; but the breath of the sleeper is not there ; God him 
self has loosed the bands of the prisoner, and his free spirit 
rests in the bosom of his Savior. Oh ! who can doubt that 
the moment he was pronounced dead upon earth, he was wel 
comed by angels as born, born to an inheritance incorruptible, 
nndefiled, which passeth not away ?" 
Royalton, June 8, 1846. 

The following are only specimens of the feeling of a por 
tion of the community, upon the death of Torrey, as mani 
fested by the Resolutions which have been passed at nume 
rous public meetings. 


Resolutions of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society. 

"At a general meeting of the committee of the Brit, and For. 

Anti-Slavery Society, held at No. 27 New Broad St., London. 


on the 19th of June, 1846, Eev. John H. Hinton in the chair, 
it was unanimously resolved, that this committee have learned 
with profound regret the decease of the Rev. C. T. Torrey, in 
the penitentiary at Baltimore, Maryland, to which he had been 
sentenced for a period of six years, by the criminal court of tha t 
State, for having aided certain fugitive slaves in their escape 
from bondage. That they deeply sympathize with his afflicted 
widow and orphan children, in their irreparable loss, by which 
they have been made, in common with himself, the victims of 
the inhuman and infamous slave system of the United States ; 
and would earnestly recommend them to the protection of the 
Most High, and to the Christian liberality and care of aboli 
tionists, both in this and other countries. That the commit 
tee would assure their oppressed fellow creatures, the slave 
population of the United States, of their increasing interest in 
their condition, of the commiseration they feel for them in 
their sufferings, and of their determination to use every le 
gitimate means for breaking their fetters, and for restoring 
them to the possession of that freedom to which they are en 
titled by right of nature, and as the gift of God. That they 
regard the law of slavery as atrocious in principle, a daring 
usurpation of divine prerogatives, and the greatest wrong that 
can be inflicted on mankind ; and as a law which ought, there 
fore, to be earnestly, constantly, and zealously resisted, by 
every friend of justice, humanity and freedom. That the 
committee consider the laws incidental to the state of le-al- 
ized slavery, which render it criminal for free men to counsel 
and aid slaves in the recovery of their freedom, and in other 
ways to instruct and befriend them, as utterly disgraceful to 
a people professing their love to republican institutions, and 
their reverence for the righteous principles and benign spirit 
of Christianity. That they nevertheless rejoice, that in the 
United States the conviction is spreading and deepening, that 
slavery is not less a sin against God than an outrage upon 
man, and ought therefore to be immediately abolished ; and 


they would encourage and urge all those who are laboring in 
this department of Christian duty, to the most strenuous ex 
ertions, until their great and noble object shall be fully ac 
complished. Finally, That the committee would earnestly, 
yet respectfully, recommend to every section of the professedly 
Christian church, in the United States, to separate itself from 
all participation in, or sanction of the system of slavery, by a 
solemn and decisive act, and thus free itself from the charge 
of upholding an institution which is entirely at variance with 
natural justice and the law of Christian love. 

Signed, THOMAS CL ARKS ON, President. 
JOHN SCOBLE, Secretary. 

Resolutions of the Franckean Lutheran Synod. 

" The ninth annual session of this body was held at Fords- 
boro, Montgomery Co., N. Y., the 4th of June. It is well 
known that this body has no ecclesiastical connection or fel 
lowship with slaveholders, and in its proceedings and the la 
bors of its members, for years past, has been active and out 
spoken in behalf of the Anti Slavery enterprise. In the ses 
sion lately held, they renew the voice of hostility to the hate 
ful/ rotten, and l guilty system, and promise renewed ex 
ertions for its overthrow. They further Resolve, That a 
special committee be appointed, to correspond with other sy- 
nodical bodies who have taken action on the subject of Ameri 
can slavery, in order to induce them to appoint a committee 
to draft a protest, jointly, against slavery, and secure the sig 
natures of as many of the clergy of the Lutheran denomina 
tion as possible. 

" That is a good move. They likewise speak out as men 
and Christians should speak, on the martyrdom of Rev. C. T. 
Torrey : 

Resolved, That the imprisonment of our devoted fellow- 
laborer and Christian brother, Charles T. Torrey, for merci- 


fully and humanely interfering in relieving the oppressed, 
and helping the trembling fugitive slave to escape from the 
hands of his relentless oppressor, was an act dictated only by 
hearts dead alike both to the common principles of humanity 
and the fear and love of God, and destitute of respect to the 
divine authority ; an act richly meriting the vengeance of God 
and the hatred and contempt of every wise and good and just 

1 Resolved, That governor Pratt, of the State of Mary 
land, in refusing to exercise the pardoning power in the case 
of the lamented Torrey, while having a full knowledge of 
the fact that a pulmonary consumption, hurried on by confine 
ment in a damp, cold cell, had brought him to the very bor 
ders of the grave ; thus preventing the kind attention which 
only a loved and loving wife, and kindred friends, could be 
stow in the solemnities of the dying hour, has given to the 
civilized and uncivilized world, another striking proof of the 
accursed influence of the slave system, in blighting every la 
tent principle of humanity, in hushing the voice of conscience, 
and in hardening the heart against the appeals uttered by the 
dying groans of suffering innocence, the earnest requests of 
heart-stricken relatives and friends, and the just demands of 
the philanthropist and Christian ; and above all, against the 
high claims of God. 

Resolved, That the 9th of May, 1846, is a day which 
will be ever fresh in the memory of all the friends of freedom, 
as the mournful, yet to him blissful day, on which Charles 
T. Torrey, another martyr to liberty, was called to close his 
severe suffering, and with his brother martyr, Elijah P. 
Lovejoy, to participate in the glorious reward of all God s 
dear and faithful children. 

1 Resolved, That as an ecclesiastical body, and as individu 
als, we deeply sympathize with the surviving family and 
friends of the lamented Torrey, in their afflictions ; and that, 
to give expression to such a significant sympathy, we will, by 


the grace of God, pursue the hell-born and God-abhorred sys 
tem of American slavery, to its final and lasting overthrow. 

" The synod likewise utters a Christian protest against the 
matchlessly guilty war now being waged for the iniquitous 
purpose of extending slavery. 

i Whereas, War is wrong, and has its origin in the infernal 
world, and is carried on by the basest and most selfish passions 
of men ; and 

1 Whereas, The war now existing between the United States 
and Mexico is wrong, selfish and wicked in the extreme, 
without mitigation, commenced and carried on for the sole 
protection, perpetuation and enlargement of the system of 
American slavery : 

Resolved, That we view the present war as wicked, not only 
intrinsically so in itself, but greatly augmented in criminality 
in consequence of the circumstances, and being in stern con 
flict with the genius of liberty. 

Resolved, That it is the province of the pulpit to speak out 
on this subject, and reprobate all its bloody and cruel move 
ments, and that our brethren are bound to bring light and 
truth before the people on this subject. " 

Resolutions of the Colored People of Oberlin. 

" The colored citizens of Oberlin, in accordance with previ 
ous notice, assembled in mass meeting on Thursday evening, 
May 28th, to express their deep sense of the worth of the la 
mented Torrey, and improve the occasion in a manner sug 
gested by his martyrdom. 

" The meeting having been called to order, Sabram B. Cox 
was called to the chair, and Lawrence W. Minor appointed 
secretary. After prayer, William H. Day, from the com 
mittee to draft resolutions expressive of the sense of the 
meeting, reported the following, which, having been warmly 
advocated, were unanimously adopted : 


1 Whereas, We, as disfranchised Americans, are identified 
not only with thousands who with us are disfranchised, but 
with three millions of our brethren in bonds : and whereas, 
their interest becomes our interest, and their elevation ours ; 
and whereas, in the rise or fall of our coadjutors we feel a 
deep and lasting interest ; and whereas, Rev. Charles T. 
Torrey, in obeying the dictates which he believed reason 
and reason s God had given him, has, by the ruthlessness of 
southern freebooters, been seized as a captive, on a charge of 
having assisted some slaves to escape to a land of liberty : 
and, having by a Maryland process, called law, been con 
demned to remain for six years within the dingy walls of a 
prison ; and whereas, within those walls and away from home, 
he has died, a martyr to our cause therefore, 

* Resolved, That by his active and untiring efforts, and sub 
sequent self-sacrifice upon the altar, Rev. Charles T. Torrey 
has shown his true devotion to the cause of down-trodden 
humanity, proved himself worthy of the Pilgrim s " home," 
and of a resting place among the graves of Pilgrim sires. 

* Resolved, That while we feel the inadequacy of language 
to express the sentiments that burn in our souls, in their be 
half, we offer to the afflicted wife and children of the lament 
ed Torrey, our tenderest sympathy, our deepest feeling, and 
our most respectful regard, and commend them to the sure 
protection of the God of the oppressed, and to his care, who 
is a " father to the fatherless and the widow s God," 

* Resolved, That while we have sympathized in the suffer 
ings of a Work, a Burr, and a Thompson, incarcerated with 
in the walls of a Missouri prison, and others in a similar situ 
ation ; and in the noble stand and noble fall of a Lovejoy up 
on the plains of Alton ; with the branded hand of a Walker 
in the ever-glades of Florida ; and in the glorious martyr- 
death of a Torrey by Maryland law and in a Maryland pris 
on ; and while in it we see the legitimate working out, of an- 


cient aristocracy and utter disregard of the rights of humani 
ty, we rejoice to see the crisis of our cause approaching, and 
the dawning of a brighter day which will surely follow. 

1 Resolved, That governor Pratt of Maryland, in spurning 
the petition of Mrs. Torrey, that her husband might breathe 
his last among his native hills, when it was evident to all 
that his life would be ended in a few days and perhaps hours : 
while the same governor, under less urgent circumstances, 
could set at liberty a counterfeiter at the request of his wife 
whom he had before deserted, has shown himself guilty of a 
base servility to the demon of slavery, and worthy of the 
just reprobation of every American, whether bond or free. 

Resolved, That however discouraging the circumstances 
of our case may become, how manysoever of us, or others, 
may fall, we will not despair, but trusting in God, press for 
ward, in the full assurance, that if " hereditary bondmen 
would be free, themselves must strike the blow." 

1 Resolved, That the spirit which actuated Mr. Torrey and 
his coadjutors, for the good of our cause, in disregarding ille 
gal enactments and positive lawlessness, in defence of the 
right and opposition to the wrong, shall not be unimitated ; 
but we, each to each, pledge ourselves anew, to stand firmly 
in the conflict until death. 

" After discussion of the above, it was voted that a copy 
of the above resolutions be forwarded to Mrs. Torrey, and 
also, to Gov. Pratt, of Maryland. 

" Voted, That the following papers be requested to pub 
lish the above : The Oberlin Evangelist, Cleveland Ameri 
can, Pittsburgh Mystery, Cincinnati Herald, Colored Citizen, 
Anti- Slavery Bugle, Western Citizen, Signal of Liberty, 
The Liberator, New York Evangelist, and all other papers 
friendly to the cause. After which the meeting adjourned. 

SABRAM B. Cox, Chairman. 

LAWRENCE W. MINOR, Secretary. 


[From the Western Citizen.] 

Resolutions on the Martyrdom of Mr. Torrey. 
" At a public meeting of the citizens of Galesburgh, Knox 
county, held on the 1st of June, 1846, the following reso 
lutions were adopted, and ordered to be published in the 
Citizen : 

1 Whereas, The Rev. Charles T. Torrey, late of Massachu 
setts, has died in the penitentiary of Maryland, where he had; 
been confined more than twelve months for aiding fugitives- 
who desired to escape from slavery ; and whereas, the gov 
ernor of Maryland, who pardoned out a counterfeiter, refused, 
to release Torrey at the petition of his afflicted wife, though 
her petition was endorsed by many of the first citizens of Mas 
sachusetts, Therefore, 

1st. Resolved, That while as a community we deeply sym 
pathize with the bereaved family, we rejoice that death, less 
inexorable than slavery, has released our brother from his- 
cruel oppressors. 

2d. That when, in the providence of God, Christians fall 
in with fugitives escaping from slavery, all the precepts of 
Christ which make it a duty to relieve the sufferings and to 
succor the distressed, bind them to aid such fugitives in their 
flight, with such things as they need. 

3d. That, in the imprisonment and death of Torrey, by 
the slave power, we behold a plain, practical, and shocking 
denial of the very first-born of American principles, to wit : 
" that man has inalienable rights ;" for it is for aiding men 
accused of no crime, to secure such rights which had been 
wrested from them, that he has suffered imprisonment and 

4th. That the American church is loudly called on by the 
deiith of its ministers stricken down by the slave power, to 
humble itself for the sin of neglecting the poor and oppressed 


in this land ; and that all citizens, of whatever condition or 
calling, ought to arise and rescue from the grasp of the slave- 
holding faction, that doctrine of natural liberty and inalienable 
rights, by virtue of which they hold their civil immunities, 
their religious principles, their families, and the very titles 
to their houses and lands. 

H. H. KELLOGG, Chairman. 
N. WEST, Secretary. 

Resolutions of the Citizens of Assonet Village, Mass. 

"Last Sabbath evening, (17th May, 46) the friends of free 
dom in Assonet village (Freetown) were called together by 
the tolling of the bell, to notice this mournful transaction in 
an appropriate manner. The Convention was large and re 
spectable, and was organized by the choice of Alden Hatha 
way, Jr., president ; Joseph Staples and Benedict Andros, 
vice presidents ; and Curtis C. Nichols, secretary. Rev. Mr. 
Chamberlin led in prayer ; after which the secretary stated 
the object of the meeting, and gave a short account of Mr. 
Torrey s arduous labors in the cause of human freedom, his 
privations and sufferings, and his imprisonment and death ; 
and then presented the following preamble and resolutions, 
which were ably and eloquently sustained by Rev. Messrs. 
Maxwell, Burbank, and Chamberlin, and unanimously 
adopted : 

Whereas, the sad intelligence of the death of Charles Tur 
ner Torrey, of Massachusetts, a minister of Christ, who, for 
an act of mercy, was immured in the penitentiary of Mary 
land, has at last reached us ; and with the deepest feeling of 
indignation toward those of our fellow men, in our own coun 
try, who have for a long series of years assumed the preroga 
tives of the Almighty over their equal brethren crushed, 
blasted, destroyed humanity, and rioted upon the blood of the 
defenceless ; who have scourged, incarcerated, and cruelly 


murdered the friends of freedom ; and have, at last, with 
fiendish barbarity, struck down in the prime of life, one of the 
most gifted, self-denying, and devoted sons of the Pilgrims ; 
and in his death have aimed a blow at every man and woman 
who feels as he felt and would act as he acted ; at the spirit 
of liberty in our land, and at the best interests of our common 
country and the principles of the Christian religion; there 

Resolved, That the gradual and almost irresistible encroach 
ments of the slave power in this nation, should awaken the 
friends of liberty to the danger which threatens them, and 
summon them forth to the great conflict between liberty and 
slavery, for the protection of their own rights and the rights 
of enslaved millions, and to a more determined warfare against 
the supporters of the system of slavery, whether in church or 

Resolved, That the great principles of the anti-slavery re 
form are drawn from the Avord of God the acting out of which 
is binding upon all who profess to be the followers of Christ ; 
that the Rev. Charles T. Torrey, for the crime of living in 
accordance with them, became a martyr. The so-called church 
of Christ and its ministry, then, as well as the editors of cer 
tain religious journals, who have always disregarded the claims 
of the oppressed, and, in keeping with their general character, 
have looked upon the sufferings of the martyred Torrey with 
indifference ; or, worse than all, endeavored to injure his repu 
tation, and turn the sympathies of the people against him and 
against the cause of human liberty, give no evidence of hav- 
*ing passed from death unto life, and are unworthy the Chris 
tian name. 

* Resolved, That the great body of the American people are 
involved in the awful guilt of dehumanizing immortal beings, 
that slavery exists by their action or m-action that it is 
not Southern Slavery, but AMERICAN SLAVERY, sustained, 
sanctioned and perpetuated, thus far, by Northern as well as 


Southern influence ; and that all who have understandingly 
exerted their moral or political power, for the support of a 
slaveholding administration of government, have by this act 
become slaveholders themselves ; and, if not repented of, are 
chargeable with the abominations of the system. " 

" At a meeting of members of the religious denominations 
of Salem (Ohio) and its vicinity, held at the Methodist Epis 
copal House, May 28th, Rev. J. COON, president, the follow 
ing resolutions were adopted with but one dissenting voice : 

* Whereas, Slavery has laid its ruthless hand on C. T. TOR 
REY, and crushed his physical constitution in its iron grasp, 
because he dared " do unto others as he would have others do 
unto him ;" therefore, 

Resolved, That in the murder of this our lamented brother, 
we recognize the system of slavery an antagonist of Jehovah, 
and in league with the emissaries of Satan. 

* Resolved, That those who take sides with this murder, or 
with the institution which caused it, whether perceptible to 
themselves or not, are acting in opposition to God; and 
whether professors or non-professors, opposing that church, 
against which it is said "the gates of hell shall never prevail." 

Resolved, That while we weep with the bereaved wife and 
fatherless children, for one they shall never, never behold in 
time ; while we mingle our tears and heartfelt groans with 
the three million slaves, who imploringly turn their eyes to 
wards heaven and exclaim, "Upon whom shall his mantle fall? 
Upon whom shall the spirit of Torrey rest ?" and while our 
shriek is heard in unison with that of freedom, we have the 
hope that his spirit, snatched from the attempted grasp of man, 
has gone to the embrace of Christ. 

L. T. PARK, Secretary. " 



[From the New Jersey Freeman.] 

Charles T. Torrey. The readers of the Freeman are 
no doubt already apprised of the fact, that Charles T. Torrey 
is dead. He may be regarded in the fullest sense of the 
term a martyr to liberty. He had been incarcerated in pris 
on nearly two years, and all that time under circumstances 
truly aggravating. His friends were almost entirely denied 
access to him, even during sickness, and cut off from com 
municating with him and comforting him, except on very 
few occasions, and then, under the eye of the keenest slave- 
holding scrutiny. He had been guarded with a vigilance 
that the security of no guilty criminal required. The author 
ities of Maryland have acted as if the very existence of sla 
very demanded the sacrifice of Mr. Torrey. A guilty pirate 
in the same prison could receive the governor s pardon, but 
Torrey must die for an act of humanity, notwithstanding the 
thrilling appeals that were made in his behalf. He had of 
fended against slavery, and this is the highest offence known 
at the South. 

" But they have done their worst to poor Torrey ; they 
have done all they can do ; he is out of their reach, but they 
are not out of his ; they are done with him, but he is not 
done with them ; his funeral knell will ring through the ears 
of the slaveholders until they will be heartily sick of resort 
ing to such means for preserving an institution that has no 
parallel in the history of the world. 

" Mr. Torrey has gone to rest in peace beyond the reach 
of his persecutors ; but there will be no rest or peace for 
them ; though the victim of their rage and malice is dead, 
yet he speaks, and will continue to speak, in thunder tones, 
into the ears of slaveholders, until they loose their grasp up 
on their brother s throat. His martyr spirit will haunt them 


by night and by day, in their waking and sleeping hours. It 
will rouse up the indignant feelings of northern freemen and 
baptize them with new zeal and vigor, increase their ener 
gies, settle the determination to annihilate slaveholding, to 
give it no resting place on earth, and nerve them for the 

" And now, we would say to all abolitionists, think of 
Torrey ! When you begin to feel weary in the cause of the 
slave, think of Torrey ! When you think you have done 
your part of the labor, think of Torrey ! When you think 
you have labored long enough, given money enough, sacrifi 
ced enough, endured privations enough, think of Torrey ! 
When you feel discouraged, depressed, weighed down, think 
of Torrey ! When you think of him, you will think of the 
source of his persecutions, you will think of the slave, of 
your country s deep degradation, and you will not think of 
sitting down in idleness. 

" The sympathies of every true man will be deeply drawn 
out in favor of outraged humanity, whenever the trials of this 
faithful friend of the slave are brought to view. We envy 
riot the littleness of those heartless spirits, who stand ready 
to cast odium on Mr. Torrey, and (counteract the influence of 
the deep sympathies of the people for him upon the institu 
tions of our country,) by saying that he only suffered the pen 
alties of a broken law. Had he broken no law, say they, he 
need not to have suffered, and therefore it was his own fault. 
We have no respect for such men, be they who they may ; 
we are willing they should enjoy, to the fullest extent, all the 
satisfaction which a view of their own contemptible littleness 
can afford them. We have always thought that a man de 
served honor for a noble act, in proportion to the difficulties 
and perils endured in the work, and if Mr. Torrey did an act 
of humanity in the face of unjust laws, so much the more we 
are bound to honor him for it. We place him along with the 
great and good men of every age who have labored success- 


fully for reform in opposition to wicked laws. If there had 
been no laws prohibiting aid to fugitives from slavery, any 
body could help these poor sufferers; it would be an easy 
matter ; but as it is, it required one who was willing to toil, 
make sacrifices, look perils in the face, bleed and die if ne 
cessary. It required a Torrey. None but a Torrey can go 
into Maryland and practically advocate the doctrines of the 
Declaration of Independence ; and we are bound to give his 
name a conspicuous place among the martyred philanthro 
pists that adorn the pages of the world s history. Posterity 
will place it there r whether we agree to it or not. 

u Mr. Torrey s funeral was held in Boston, and a ser 
mon was preached on the occasion by a brother of the mar 
tyred Lovejoy. The body was interred at Mount Auburn Cem 
etery, where a suitable monument will be erected to his mem 
ory. His death, under all the trying circumstances of the case, 
as we might expect, is producing a powerful sensation, which 
pervades the whole community, from Maine to Wisconsin. 

" Ministers are preaching funeral discourses through the 
whole north on the occasion ; and we trust the murderers of 
Charles T. Torrey will yet find, that though dead, he will 
yet speak in their ears, to their dismay. 

" We do not believe that the moral sense, even of the 
south, can sleep over the abominations daily committed there. 
We never hated slavery so much as we now do." 

[From the Spirit of Liberty.] 

" The memory of the just is blessed ; the righteous shall 
be in everlasting remembrance." 

" The late Liberty Convention resolved that a public 
meeting should be held in this city, in commemoration of 
the death of this martyred minister of Christ. The resolu- 


tion invites all the friends of freedom to unite with the mem 
bers of the convention, on the occasion. Would it not be 
equally meet and appropriate to invite all the friends of 
Christ to join in the commemoration ? Devout men carried 
Stephen to his burial and made great lamentations over him. 
There is a fitness still, in carrying a good man to his burial. 
And if they cannot be present when a distinguished man falls in 
the service of his Master, to take part in the last sad act for the 
dead, the occasion need not be suffered to pass without some 
memorial to the departed, and some means of fixing the les 
son, which it teaches, firmly in our hearts. We go, then, for 
commemorating the fall of Torrey. He was a devout man, 
as his life has shown, even as the poet has described it, 

Devotion, when lukewarm, is undevout, 
But when it glows, its heat is struck to heaven. 

And although the inconsiderate may never have had a 
thought in relation to his character, the Scriptural exhibi 
tions of the characters and fortunes of the true disciples of 
Jesus, leave no one, who will dwell but a moment upon the 
subject, to doubt of Torrey. Ye shall be hated of all men 
for my name s sake. If they have persecuted me, they 
will also persecute you. These are the words of the Lord 
and Master. They yet convey the fullest significance. Who, 
at this day, shall we take for his disciples ? The men, 
whom the world honors and caresses even as God s high 
priests ; or the man who, for preaching the truth, (imprudent 
ly, only, it is said,) and relieving the helpless poor, is cast in 
to prison, and slain with a lingering death ? For myself, I 
have no doubt of what will be the judgment of the future 
both of future generations and the future world. No genera 
tion, in their own judgment, kill the prophets. The fathers 
always kill them, and they, in their pious fervor build their 
~tn"&h sepulchres. Mankind never inflict martyrdom without 
first dressing the victim in a garb of one worthy of death. 


For what was Charles T. Torrey convicted and martyred ? 
For delivering the slave from his master. For releasing cap 
tives from the blackest prison-house. Let Torrey, then, go 
down to all coming generations in the very garb in which he 
suffered, with the words of the indictment, as frontlets, be 
tween his eyes. 

" At the proposed meeting, I wish to see every man, who 
feels as a disciple of Christ. Not only the friends of freedom, 
but the friends of Christian devotedness. If Torrey was a 
follower of the Divine Master, and followed him even to a 
martyr s death, every other follower of Christ, has a peculiar 
interest in him. They are members with him of the same 
body, and the more real and true they make the sympathy 
with him now, the more readily will their spirits approach the 
exalted and honored position of his spirit in the glorified body 
in heaven." 

[From the Pittsburgh Spirit of Liberty.] 

" Poor Charles T. Torrey has at last been freed, by the 
hand of death, from the penitentiary of Maryland. He died 
on the 8th inst., in the hospital of the penitentiary, from pul 
monary consumption. The avarice of Heckrotte has been 
disappointed, and he and his contemptible fellow-thieves have 
added the slow murder of an upright, noble Christian, to the 
long catalogue of crimes which shall be arrayed against them 
in that hour when he and they shall stand before the Judge 
of all the earth. Who would exchange his hope for that of his 
heartless persecutors ? For the craven-hearted governor of 
Maryland, will not the world s contempt be too light a punish 
ment ? The power to set poor Torrey free, so that at least 
he might die arnid his family, was in the hands of the gov 
ernor. He could have pardoned, whether Heckrotte s infernal 


greed of gold was satiated or not ; but he chose to leave the 
noble captive to die in the prison, rather than risk his popu 
larity by doing right. His reward shall come. To the great 
State of Maryland, how deep is the disgrace ! To the slave- 
holding villains who have brought it upon her, how bitter will 
be the retribution ! What have they gained by this crime ? 
Infamy ! They have sown the wind to reap the whirlwind ; 
and the knell of Charles T. Torrey is the knell of Maryland 
oppression. The God of truth cannot look with allowance 
on such a deed as this persecution unto death of a Christian 
minister, for letting * the oppressed go free ; and if he visit 
not the perpetrators with sore judgments, they must repent 

" But the noble and brave-hearted Torrey shall dwell no 
more among men. His children have no father, his wife no 
husband. He died that glorious poor man that the creditor 
of humanity always is ; and it becomes the duty of every 
abolitionist to inquire into the circumstances of his family, to 
condole with and to aid them, if possible. Let it be known 
that we reverence the good man s memory that his co-labo 
rers embalm it in their hearts." 

[From the Western Christian.] 

" Torrey s funeral services were conducted in the Tremont 
Temple, Boston, where Rev. N. Colver preaches. The Con- 
gregationalist society, of which some of the relatives were 
members, refused the use of their house on the occasion. 
Such is the influence of slavery over churches in commercial 
cities. A brother of the martyred Lovejoy was very appro 
priately selected to deliver the sermon, which will soon be 
published. All seem to unite in admiring the spirit of the 
fallen man ; but most deem his conduct in aiding fugitives to 
escape, as unjustifiable, inasmuch as the barbarous laws of 


Maryland endangered his ability to discharge the paramount 
obligations he was under to his wife and children. This, 
however, does not in the least moderate the tone of the free 
press towards the barbarous governor of Maryland, or the ac 
cursed system of oppression that thirsted for, and obtained 
the blood of this noble victim. As of Lovejoy, so of Torrey, 
it may be said, from every drop of his blood shall spring up 
full-grown abolitionists. One of the surest evidences that 
slavery is destined to a speedy overthrow, is the madness 
which its friends betray in their efforts to secure its per 
petuity: Quos Deus vult perdere, dementat. The slave 
power of this nation must fall, of its own over-action. Its 
attacks upon the freedom of speech and the press ; its fla 
grant violations of the right of petition and the constitution of 
the United States ; its brutal assaults upon members of Con 
gress from the free States ; its mob-violence all over the land ; 
and finally its murder of two ministers of the gospel, and im 
prisonment of others, though intended to check the rising 
spirit of abolition, have increased it a thousand-fold, and raised 
the waves of popular indignation so high, that no earthly 
power can stay their progress till the accursed thing is swept 
from the land. Torrey, like Samson, has accomplished more 
in his death, than during his life." 

[From the Green Mountain Freeman.] 

" That Torrey died in prison, is probably no more the 
fault of the governor of Maryland, than it was of Mr. T. him 
self, or his friends for it seems he might have been released : 
but the law, making his conduct a crime, is a proper subject 
for animadversion. It is part of the system of slavery, and by 
no means recommends that system to freemen. Watchman. 

How might Torrey and his friends have secured his 
release ? Only by acknowledging that he had done wrong, 


and promising to do so no more. It is not true, as the Watch 
man asserts, (as we understand the matter,) that a pardon 
might have been secured by acknowledging that the laws of 
Maryland had been violated, and paying for the slaves. 
Nothing short of an expression of regret and contrition for 
the deed of mercy a base prostration before the dark idol of 
slavery, which might be heralded to the world as another lau 
rel in its wreath of triumph would satisfy the inhuman ty 
rants, and secure the victim s release. Could Torrey comply 
with these terms ? Let his own reply suffice a sentiment 
worthy to be inscribed in golden letters upon the banner of 
every man who enlists in the great strife of human progress 
and reform : i It is better to die in prison with the peace of God 
in our hearts, than live in freedom with a polluted conscience / 
We acknowledge, and with shame, that many among us who 
make high professions of piety and humanity, would have 
considered a pardon cheaply purchased on the conditions pre 
scribed ; but Torrey thought otherwise. Time will reveal 
which course is right. Pity the Watchman adviser had not 
lived in early times, when, by his counsel he might have 
saved a Daniel from the lion s den, the three worthies from 
the fiery furnace, and even a Savior from the cross ! 

" But the * law, making his conduct a crime, is a proper 
subject of animadversion. Oh, yes ! the law the law /you 
may rail and rant, preach and pray, against that as much as 
you please ; but the dear whiff law-makers and law-executors 
of Maryland, arc simon-pure patriots, philanthropists and 
Christians the world over, and worthy of being elevated to the 
highest posts of honor in church and State ! 

" It (the law) is a part of the system of slavery, and by 
no means recommends that system to freemen. Indeed! 
Here is the deliberate, recorded judgment of the editor of the 
Vermont Watchman, the organ of the true liberty party in 
Vermont, in the year of our Lord eighteen hundred and forty- 
six, and of American Independence the seventieth, that that 


law which murders men in cold dungeons for obeying the com 
mands of God, by no means recommends the system of which 
it is a part, to the adoption of freemen ! And whenever the 
freemen of Vermont consider the question of establishing 
slavery in their midst, let them not forget this consideration ! 
" Shame on the man the northerner the Vermonter 
the Christian that can thus notice the fall of a martyr to- 
liberty !" 

[From the Charter Oak.] 

" Torrey is dead. With mingled feelings of sorrow and re 
gret, we chronicle the following, which we find in the Tri 
bune of the llth inst., from a correspondent in Baltimore to 
a friend in New York city : 

Our beloved Torrey departed this life at three o clock, 
this afternoon. Mr. S. was absent from the city, and I have 
therefore learned none of the particulars of his death. He 
visited him twice yesterday, and found him peaceful and hap 
py. There is now no more that his enemies can do. Happy 
deliverance ! 

" Another correspondent, writing to the same the day be 
fore, says : 

I have just come from the bed-side of our friend Torrey : 
he is almost gone. He had a hemorrhage last night, and 
threw up half a gill of blood. He is very weak now, but 
knew me, and spoke of his death, in view, with faith and re 
signation. He spoke also of the kindness of Jesus, in making 
" sick and in prison" the climax of his specifications when he 
noticed the position in which his disciples might administer to 
his wants. " He may have thought of me," said he. 

" Thus a good man and a true has fallen. Let history re 
cord the fact, that a minister of the gospel, and a son of the 
Pilgrims, has been immolated to the Moloch of slavery in the 
middle of the nineteenth century, in the land of boasted liberty 


and freedom ! A land that bore on its soil a Washington, and 
whose bosom contains the graves of the patriots of the Revo 
lution, who poured out their treasures and their life-blood to 
break the rod of oppression and to secure the priceless boon 
of liberty, with the countless blessings that flow in its train, 
to their descendants, and the world. Yet one and another of 
their descendants are sacrificed to oppression ; and the voice 
of their blood which pleads for liberty, in tones that startle 
the nations from their despotic slumbers, and shakes the 
power of tyranny throughout the civilized world, is unheeded 
by the nation, and goes up silently to heaven and enters into 
the ears of Eternal Justice. Shall I not visit for these things, 
and shah 1 not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this, 
saith the Lord of Hosts ? " 

[From the Morning Star.] 

" Martyrdom of Charles T. Torrey. The doctrine of the 
providential government of God is among the most glorious 
doctrines of the Bible. It is this that cheers the Christian, 
when amid the sorer trials of his present existence, he is 
pressed to exclaim with Jacob, l All these things are against 
me. For he knows that under its operations, all things shall 
be made to work together for the good of them that love 
God. Let the friends of the slave, and the slave himself, 
the children of Torrey and Torrey s lonesome widow, accept 
the consolation which this doctrine is designed to afford 

" To be sure, the martyrdom of Torrey is an event which 
must ever be deplored by every true Christian and philan 
thropist. None but the ignorant and depraved will say of 
him, as the same classes said of the martyred Lovejoy, * he 
died as the fool dieth. It may, indeed, in the eyes of 
the world, be as foolish as it is unpopular to die in the act 


of doing unto others as we would have others do unto 
us. But not so in the eyes of Christianity. And to every 
one who thus dies, and dies for thus doing, the angels doubt 
less say, Hail ! thou art highly favored. And ere the dead 
body of Torrey had reached Boston, and been denied admis 
sion to the Park-street House [!!!!] the freed spirit of Tor 
rey had arrived at heaven, and met an angel s welcome. 

4 Hail, brother ! hail thou son of happiness ! 
Thou son beloved of God ! Welcome to heaven ! 
To bliss that never fades 5 Thy day is past 
Of trial and of fear to fall. Well done. 
Good and faithful servant, enter now 
Into the joy eternal of thy Lord. 
Come with us, and behold far higher sight 
Than ere thy heart desired, or hope conceived. 
See, yonder is the glorious hill of God, 
Bove angels 1 gaze in brightness rising high, 
Come, join our wing, and we will guide thy flight 
To mysteries of everlasting bliss ! 
The tree and fount of Life, the eternal throne, 
The presence chamber of the King of kings. 

" As Torrey s life wrought salvation for four hundred 
slaves! ! so his death has wrought for himself a speedy as 
cension to the glory of heaven. And as to his mortal re 
mains, though spurned away from the popular sanctuary of a 
nominal church, they fill an honored grave, and the tears of 
the four hundred will keep it moist and green. Posterity too, 
will honor Torrey. Even the Park-street church will, a few 
years hence, be pressed to ask his forgiveness at the door of 
his sepulchre. His death will, we doubt not, work together 
for good to the popular Christianity -of Boston. It has devel 
oped more evidently, a feature which it was suspected of con 
taining, put his aspersers upon reflection, and set the city 
to thinking. It will hasten on th anti-slavery reform in the 
half-converted, semi-penitent Bay State. The sermon of the 


Rev. Mr. Lovejoy we have not seen ; but, preached as it was 
by the brother of one martyr, over the dead body of another, 
and from what we have heard said of it, we doubt not it will 
move the heart of community more than many sermons, even 
though equally talented, preached by Lovejoy and Torrey 
both, under ordinary circumstances. To the millions of pin 
ing slaves, then, Torrey s death will prove a blessing. His 
dungeon was better for them than his study. His death-groan 
was heard through the nation ; and his spirit now flits in the 
track of every slave-holder and pro-slavery minion, from 
Maine to Texas. Great are thy honors, Torrey ! Little did 
thine enemies think, when they thrust thee into prison, that 
they were springing a mine for their own destruction. Little 
did they think, that Haman was himself to swing upon the 
gallows he erected for Mordecai, the Jew. But thus doth it 
often happen. In the pit which the wicked < dig are their own 
feet taken. And who but can devoutly and heartily thank 
God for that providential government which makes the wick 
ed thus praise him. 

" But it is not always that we can perceive the operations 
by which all things are made to work together for the good of 
the children of God. These are sometimes partially, and 
sometimes wholly veiled from our view. What I do, thou 
knowest not now. And thus it is, we apprehend, with the 
widow and children of Torrey. But let them rest in God. 
It is a blessing to them to know that a husband and a father 
is forever happy. God, who tempereth the wind to the shorn 
lamb, will not disregard the condition of the widow and or 
phan and especially the widow and the orphans of one of 
his martyred children. Even their present sorrow shall if 
they love God turn to their greatest joy. Weeping may en 
dure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. In another 
article, we may notice for what Torrey died. -M. J. 3." 


[From the Same-] 

Martyrdom of Charles T. Torrey. Die, heretic ! said 
the papal soldier, as he plunged his bayonet to the heart of 
the Swiss Reformer. Die ! wretch, said Southern Law, as 
it saw Torrey expiring in the prison to which it had doomed 
him. And doubtless Zuinglius and Torrey will stand up to 
gether in the judgment as brother-martyrs. 

" Hold ! cries the godless legalist : Torrey died a culprit 
at the hand of civil justice. To this we reply, that, if so, 
then so also did Zuinglius. The latter was as guilty in the 
sight of Papal law, as the former was in the sight of Mary 
land law. So that Zuinglius and Torrey still stand together. 
Let Protestant divines say where they must stand. What 
Popery says of the former, Slavery says of the latter. But 
what Protestantism says of the former, doubtless God says 
of both, They shall be mine in the day when I make up 
my jewels/ 

" Now we hope all our readers will be consistent, and ap 
ply the same principles in judging Torrcy, that they do in 
judging martyrs generally. Milton makes his devils awfully 
consistent. Slavery can be consistent with itself, and con 
sistency is a jewel, though it hang in a demon s nostril. We 
admire it even there. Let us suppose a case. 

" Old Massachusetts makes a law that Deacon , of 

the Park-street Church, Boston, shall be a slave, and as such, 
sold to the highest bidder. It is easy to suppose this case, 
nor ought the supposition to be regarded as very extravagant, 
inasmuch as it is a thing so often realized in sister States. 
But the Deacon, will not < down at their bidding, and, slip 
ping through their hands, consults his Pastor. Now, he is 
abolitionist enough to say, My advice, Deacon, is to flee to a 
free State, immediately. Here, take this money, and my 
horse, and haste away : for there is no longer any safety for 
you here. The Deacon does so. Soon, however, it is whis- 


pered that the Pastor helped the Deacon off; suspicion fast 
ens on him, and he is in Charlestown prison. Finally, he is 
tried, condemned, and sentenced to a long imprisonment, 
but being of delicate habits, he soon sinks under his confine 
ment, and dies a companion of villains. Even they are mov 
ed by his dying groans as they sound along the frowning 
prison aisles. The news flies along the streets of Boston, 
4 Aiken is dead! The authorities graciously permit his wife 
and children to bury the body, which they were forbidden to 
see while the soul was in it. His friends wish a funeral ser 
vice. They apply for the Park-street house ; but it is refus 
ed them ; they however obtain Tremont Temple ; the fune 
ral is solemnized, and Mr. Aiken s despised remains are at 
length lodged at Mount Auburn. 

" We have said that consistency is a jewel. And beyond 
all controversy, it demands that those who speak of Torrey 
as dying justly, should say the same of the Pastor of the 
Park-street church in the case supposed. As in the real case, 
so also in the supposed one, the doors of Park-street church 
must be closed against the funeral. Now, admitting that all 
others think that this is all right, it is natural to inquire what 
the Deacon thinks. He doubtless would think of his mar 
tyred Pastor just what the l four hundred think of Torrey. 

" There is one law of universal obligation, and Almighty 
sanction. It is this : Be ye merciful. Now, whatever laws 
Torrey disobeyed, he did not disobey this. He rather kept 
it. To be sure there was another law which said, Be ye un- 
merciful. Torrey could not keep both. Circumstanced as 
he was, one of them he must violate. Now of these two laws, 
the one is God s, the other man s, the one is of Christ, the 
other of the Devil. Which shall be obeyed ? Jesus has said, 
His servants ye are to whom ye yield yourselves servants 
to obey. He who serves Satan is Satan s. He who serves 
God is God s. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Who 
can blame Torrey for preferring God to mammon ; Christ, 



to Belial ? Reader, can you ? Then go and write condem 
nation upon the tombs of all the Prophets, the graves of all 
the martyrs, and especially upon the cross of the Redeemer 
of mankind. 

" So much, Torrey, in vindication of thy character against 
the aspersions of thine enemies. Accept the unworthy ef 
fort, not for thine own sake, but for the sake of the cause to 
which thy life was sacrificed. M. J. s." 

[Baltimore Correspondence.] 

" Baltimore, June 20, 1846. 

" Mr. Editor, The death of Torrey, with all the attend 
ing circumstances, has produced in my mind a strong sensa 
tion. It is to me one of the most important events I have 
ever known. It will yet prove to be an important one in the 
history of humanity and benevolence. In the closing up of 
the great drama of human existence, Torrey, the saint and 
martyr, will be seen an angel of mercy standing on the high 
way of life, the great turnpike to eternity, like a living guide- 
board, pointing the slave to freedom and the sinner to heaven. 
* Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. 
Now, without either professing to be an acute logician or pro 
found metaphysician, we venture to grapple with the whole 
subject, and solve the whole problem in short order, in rela 
tion to Torrey s guilt or innocence. And we will prove his 
innocence of guilt or sin prove him to have fulfilled the com 
mand of God in a preeminent degree, and to be worthy of all 
honor. Now Torrey was no common man ; either he was a 
great sinner or a great philanthropist, because his acts were 
- not every-day, commonplace matters. They were bold, daring, 
heroic, original. What did Torrey do ? He fed the hungry, 
clothed the naked, administered to the sick, disconsolate, des 
titute, afflicted and broken-hearted. < He set the prisoner free. 


But the Book of God says, i And whosoever shall give to drink 
unto one of these little ones, a cup of cold water only, in the 
name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise 
lose his reward. We find that the rich blessings of Heaven 
are promised to those who do the very acts which Torrey did. 
Of course, it is as plain as a sunbeam from eternity, illuminat 
ing the soul, that he was a disciple of Christ, an eminent 
Christian hero. But how comes it to pass, if Torrey was a 
good man, that gentlemen so called, men of wealth and influ 
ence professing Christians even, should sneer, reproach, 
vilify and persecute him unto the death ? Did not wicked men 
deride, insult, and crucify the Savior of the world ? And 
did not He himself say, the disciple is not above his master, 
nor the servant above his lord ? And he that taketh not his cross 
and followeth after me is not worthy of me ? But we learn 
something of the character of our friend and brother by an 
tithesis by contrasting the character of his enemies with his. 
A most terrible and graphic description of these human mon 
sters is found in the following heart-touching, soul-stirring 
words, written as with a pen of fire : For I was an hungered, 
and ye gave me no meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no 
drink ; I was a stranger, and ye took me not in ; naked, and 
ye clothed me not ; sick and in prison, and ye visited me not. 
Oh that forlorn, heart-rending word, strange? ! How it sinks 
into the very depths of the soul, as we apply it to the case of 
the poor fugitive, as tired, hungry, thirsty, faint and famish 
ing a crust of bread would appease the pangs of starvation, 
but he dare not ask for it. If he should call at the big house/ 
on his way, would the rich man * take him in, as one of 
Christ s ( little ones, and minister to his comfort? No. 
Bloodhounds, pistols and gunpowder, savage dogs and more 
savage men, would rob him of himself again, and hurl him 
back to hopeless bondage. Torrey belonged to the opposite 
class, of whom it shall be said : * for I was an hungered, and 
ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink ; I 


was a stranger, and ye took me in ; naked, and ye clothed me ; 
sick, and ye visited me ; I was in prison, and ye came unto 
me. Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these 
my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Oh what a climax of 
glory is contained in these words of Jesus Christ, that an act 
of mercy done to a fellow-being in distress, is recognized and 
rewarded as done to himself! What a sublime thought, 
what a blessed consolation, and mighty stimulant to obey God 
rather than men ! If the law of man is in direct opposition to 
the law of God, what shall we do ? We must obey God, though 
ten thousand jails, penitentiaries and guillotines stand in the 
way, guarded by millions of prison officials, wine-bibbing 
lawyers, judges and governors, pro-slavery doctors of divinity, 
and gambling statesmen. And though all hell is moved to aid 
the terrific combat, and legions of evil spirits surround the 
path of the good man, yet he shall walk through the whole 
unharmed, and God will be his shield all through the conflict, 
and give him peace and conquest eternal peace and blissful 
triumph. If men would implicitly believe the words of Jesus 
Christ as they believe a simple mathematical truth, and act 
up to it fully, as did Torrey throwing the whole energies of 
soul and body into the mighty effort one anti-slavery man 
would put a thousand foes to flight, and two chase ten thousand ! 
But the truth is, nine-tenths of us are sneaking cowards, afraid 
of our own shadows. We might storm the infernal castle of 
slavery in the next twelve months, and make the blood-stained 
soul of the guilty slaveholder * quake with most terrific fear/ 
Let us all say with the Psalmist, I will not fear what man 
can do unto me. What is the utmost that wicked men can 
do ? They can persecute, imprison, whip and kill us. This 
is all cruel and hard to endure ; but not so hard as the fires 
of hell which must consume the vitals of the relentless op 
pressor, and all ungodly men, in the great and terrible day of 
eternal justice and retribution. What is a State prison or 
penitentiary to an innocent man coolly and philosophically 


considered ? Nothing but a good-sized genteel building, where 
a man has plain, wholesome fare, in compensation for mode 
rate hard labor. Not so very bad, after all. I had infinitely 
rather go to the prison to-morrow, and suffer all Torrey suf 
fered, than to live in luxury, power and splendor, and go to 
hell at last, 

Let us then be up and doing, 
"With a heart for any fate. 

" Torrey, in his life-time, set hundreds free. They and 
their children s children, through all coming time, shall rise up 
and call him blessed. His death will infuse new life into thou 
sands, and plunge the dagger into the devil-heart of American 
slavery, and hasten its infernal death-pang. May God in 
mercy multiply the Torreyites a thousand-fold per annum, 
and speed the operations of the Patent Rail-road to freedom ! 


[From a Newspaper.] 

" Rev. Charles T. Torrey. Granting that it was a crime 
worthy of punishment that consigned this friend of liberty and 
humanity to the gloomy walls of his prison abode, all our 
sympathies must be awakened for the criminal, when, with 
the demands of justice, are mingled the stern exactions of 

" It is not our purpose to denounce individuals who uphold 
slavery, but the system itself. By their fruits shall ye know 
them, said He who spake as never man spake ; and as we 
chronicle this manifestation of the vindictive spirit which de 
nied to Torrey the poor boon of spending the few remaining 
days of his existence beyond the precincts of the prison house, 
even when ample restitution is offered for the value of slaves 


who escaped from bondage through his agency, we cannot re 
frain from holding it up to the gaze of the world as a sample 
of the bitter fruit from that accursed tree, whose dark and 
gloomy shadows cast a blight and mildew upon all that is fair 
and beautiful both in the natural and moral world. 

" One would think that in this case enough had been done 
already to vindicate every claim of justice ; that the iron 
rigor of the law would relent a little in view of all the afflict 
ing circumstances connected with this appeal for mercy ; but 
no, the inexorable decree of the slave power is deaf to every 
appeal of humanity or affection ; and demands, like the unre 
lenting Shylock, the pound of flesh cut from the heart of its 

The character of mercy, which the poet tells us, is not strained, 
But droppeth as the gentle dew from heaven, 

cannot soften the heart, feelings or affections, of men who 
have imbibed the seeds of tyranny in youth ; who from their 
earliest childhood have been taught to regard their fellow 
creatures as brutes of the field, and the tears and cries of suf 
fering humanity, in the same light as the cries of a crocodile 
or the bleating of a lamb. No wonder that men who have 
received an education that destroys the finer feelings of the 
heart, blunting all its perceptions of duty, humanity and mercy, 
should be proof against a righteous demand or generous im 
pression, even when that demand is made or impression 
sought, through the influence of woman s undying affection, 
pleading with all the eloquence of wo, for the release of a dy 
ing husband ; asking only that ere those eyes be closed in 
death forever, they may again behold the beautiful green 
earth, and look upon the glad face of nature unfettered and 
unconfined, and that the fevered brow may once more be 
bathed by the balmy breath of spring, fresh from the hill tops 
and the fields. 

" Kings and emperors have felt how blessed a thing for- 


giveness is. The autocrat of semi-barbarous Russia has been 
often known to heed the persuasive eloquence of woman s 
tears and sorrows. The pleading looks and tones of Poca- 
hontas, could soften the rude, stern nature of her warrior sire, 
and avert the impending death blow. But the reputed Chris 
tian governor of a reputed Christian State cannot, or dare 
not put forth his hand in the exercise of that prerogative 
with which he is vested, to open the prison doors of the dy 
ing disciple of the meek and lowly one, whose injunctions he 
sought to obey, and for whose cause he suffers. 

" The decrees of the Slave power are harder and sterner 
than aught else. And while this manifestation of that inex 
orable will which the tears of the widow and the fatherless 
cannot soften, is before our eyes, we would commend to the 
sober reflections of every thinking mind the whole subject of 
slavery. What, but that narrow-minded selfishness which 
forms the basis of that system of wrong and oppression, 
which holds three millions of men in bondage, and robs them 
of every right ; and in the face of reason and revelation, 
maintains that it is no sin, could render the human heart as 
hard as the granite of our hills ; impregnable to every feeling 
of kindness, and every emotion of tenderness and mercy? 
gloating over the pangs of mortal suffering that it inflicts, 
even in the dying hour, and refusing to affection s plea, the 
privilege of the last embrace beyond the walls of a prison. 
Friends of humanity ! will you not heed this latest exhibition 
of inhuman tyranny, on the part of the slaveocracy of this 
Union ? Will you still countenance by your silence, if not 
by your words and acts, that system, which is the deadliest 
foe to humanity, and which inflicts the penalties of its dis 
pleasure with all the unrelenting barbarity of savage life ? 
While you have the power through moral means, by the sim 
ple utterance of your thoughts and opinions, to do away with 
this great national abomination, will you not use it ? 

" Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn 


down and cast into the fire/ The day of retribution must 
come ! We at the north, as well as those at the south, are com 
pelled daily to eat of this bitter fruit, and through us let the 
scripture be fulfilled. There is moral power enough in this 
country, if it can only have the right direction, to overthrow 
the whole system of human slavery. Let us jealously guard 
every invasion of our rights as men ; let us not hold our 
peace, when a great and grievous wrong is to be done. Let 
every new demonstration of wickedness or assumption of pow 
er, but serve to incite us to persevere in the cause of human 
ity, and ere long the right shall triumph, and the rod of the 
oppressor be broken, and the slave go free. T. D." 

[From the Albany Journal.] 

" Funeral of Rev. Mr. Torrey. The body of Rev. Charles 
T. Torrey, who recently died in the Maryland Penitentiary,, 
was conveyed to Boston, where the funeral took place on Mon 
day last. The Atlas says t The exercises were conducted at 
the Tremont Temple, and in a solemn and impressive man 
ner. Two original hymns were sung, a portion of the Scrip 
tures was read, and a sermon delivered by the Rev. J. C. 
Lovejoy. The body of the deceased, after the solemnities 
had been concluded, were removed to Mount Auburn. The 
fate of Mr. T. was a hard one. He was a man of enlarged 
benevolence, and a true Christian. His sympathy for the op 
pressed slaves might have led him to adopt an improper 
course of action in his endeavors to ameliorate their condition.. 
But he was far more sinned against than sinning. For ad 
vising the victim of avarice and cruelty, how he might be-, 
freed from oppression, Mr. Torrey has been made the victim 
of laws which disgrace the statute book of a civilized people. 
But for him who wrongs the free black of the north, and sells 



him into hopeless slavery for non-payment of jail fees, these 
same laws prescribe no punishment !" 

[From the (Hartford) Religious Herald.] 

" A Comparison. About seventy years ago, the people of 
the United States, then colonies of Great Britain, conceiving 
themselves to be oppressed and maltreated by the mother coun 
try, determined to throw off the yoke of bondage, and assert 
their just claim to the exercise of those inalienable rights 
of which she sought to deprive them. In carrying out their 
purpose, they found it necessary to struggle long and wearily 
against the whole power of their unnatural parent, and at 
times, it seemed as if success, in their endeavor after freedom, 
was utterly hopeless. The tidings of this conflict for liberty 
went across the ocean, and reached the ears of a young 
French Marquis, named Gilbert Mottier Lafayette. His 
generous soul at once overflowed with sympathy for the op 
pressed, and leaving home, friends and country behind him, 
he hastened to the aid of our struggling fathers, stood by 
their side on the field of battle, and shed his blood in their 
cause as freely as if it had been his own. This was noble 
conduct, and he had his reward. When after the lapse of 
many years he came again among us, the whole nation wax 
ed almost delirious in its gratitude. A universal three 
times three rang in his ears wherever he went ; at his de 
parture, countless blessings followed his path across the sea, 
and when but a few years later, the sad intelligence of his 
death was brought, the whole land clothed itself in mourning, 
and the bells in all steeples tolled forth the sorrow of all 

" Look on that picture, and now on this. 
" In the southern States of this Union, there is a body of 
men called slaves. In number they equal the whole popula 
tion of this country at the time of the Declaration of Inde- 


pendence. Some of these slaves have taken up the idea 
that they are oppressed and wrongfully treated that they 
are kept back from the exercise of certain inalienable rights, 
such as liberty, and the pursuit of happiness ; and with this 
impression strongly fixed in their minds, they are watching 
for every favorable opportunity to assert their rights ; not as 
our fathers did, by coming into open conflict with their op 
pressors, but by simply removing away from their reach, and 
taking refuge in a land where the law allows them the own 
ership of themselves. A young clergyman of Massachusetts, 
Charles T. Torrey, by name, had his attention directed a 
short time ago, to these abused and suffering slaves. He 
knew of their efforts after freedom. His noble heart burned 
within him at their wrongs, and gave him no rest, until leav 
ing his native State, his wife, his friends, and every thing 
else behind, he devoted himself to the good work of aiding 
fugitives from slavery to secure the blessings of freedom. 
But he was unfortunate. He fell into the hands of the mer 
ciless demon of Slavery, and the pound of flesh, which the 
law allowed, and the court awarded, was cut from his bosom 
* nearest his heart ; yea, even to the twentieth part of one 
poor scruple. Had he been guilty of any other crime than 
this ; instead of helping slaves to their freedom, had he de- 
descended on the coast of Africa, and converted hundreds of 
freemen into slaves, there can scarcely be a doubt but that he 
would, in the peculiar circumstances of his case, have been 
pardoned out of prison, and suffered to die, at least, in the 
bosom of his family. But, no ; the guilt of being a friend to 
the friendless, and a helper to the helpless, was charged and 
proved upon him, and not even the shadow of approaching 
death upon his hollow cheeks, could win from his tormentors 
one word, or look, of pity. He died ; he was murdered by a 
law which came up from the lowest depths of hell ; that was 
his reward ! 

" Question I. Did our revolutionary fathers suffer an op- 


pression more severe than that which three millions of slaves 
are now enduring at the South ? 

" Question II. If it was right for our ancestors to cast off 
the authority of Great Britain, and achieve their independ 
ence by force, can it be wrong for southern slaves to escape, 
in a quiet and peaceful way, from the bondage of their op 
pressors ? 

" Question III. If it was noble in Lafayette to leave his 
country and his friends, and mingle in a conflict with which 
he had no personal concern, merely because his generous na 
ture prompted him to succor the distressed ; was it otherwise 
for Torrey to do the same, in behalf of men who were infi 
nitely more wronged and outraged than those whom the gal 
lant Frenchman came to help ? 

" Question IV. If Torrey violated the laws of Maryland, 
did not Lafayette to a yet greater extent, violate the laws of 
Great Britain, and were the former more worthy of respect 
and obedience, and less oppressive and cruel than the latter ? 

" And yet there are papers religious papers very reli 
gious papers papers of the most orthodox stamp papers 
that smell the slightest taint of a doctrinal heresy afar off, 
and make as much ado about it as if the very heavens were 
falling ; which can record the death of Torrey, without one 
word to indicate that they do not regard it as having happened 
in the very properest way imaginable. We have a large 
circulation at the south, and it is not prudent to say anything 
which will offend the prejudices of our slaveholding patrons, 
and stop the influx of their money to our pockets. Never 
theless, gentlemen, it seems to us that Christians ought to 
have hearts, as well as pockets. For ourselves, no prudential 
considerations whatever, shall restrain us from uttering our 
abhorrence of the Maryland slaveholders, and of the laws 
which they have framed and executed with such deadly vin- 
dictiveness. We will never cease to bear our testimony 
against that monstrous system of oppression which over- 



shadows half our land, while we have breath for words, or 
while our hand can hold a pen." 

[From the Liberty Standard.] 

" The Great Murder. The atrocious murder of poor Tor 
rey, by slaveholders, is producing a deep interest among the 
people, and that is right. Large numbers of ministers are 
preaching appropriate discourses with reference to it, and it 
is hoped others will follow their example. He is the THIRD 
MARTYR to slavery, and ALL FROM THE PULPIT. Is it not 
time for the pulpit to speak ? Torrey was a noble man 
with a great heart, talented and self-sacrificing, and he died a 
Christian hero. But he was imprudent. So is the man 
who dashes into the sea to save your child, and rises not ! 
So was Luther so was Jerome of Prague, who was burnt 
to ashes so was Lovejoy so were other martyrs. Away 
with such quibbling casuistry ! A poor robbed fugitive from 
southern knavery with the heart of a true husband, was 
begging in New York for money to buy his wife. Torrey s 
great, indignant heart bounded in his bosom Where is she? 
said he. I will have her here in five days ! It was done! 
Was it not NOBLE SUBLIME ? Ask your heart, if you have 
one. Ought he to die for that ? Then swear by Torrey s 
death, to avenge his blood on slavery. Away with your hesi 
tation it s too late. Now put on the armor which God has 
allowed Torrey to put off. 

" His funeral in Boston was a great meeting the great 
Tremont Temple was crowded to overflowing with a deeply 
affected audience, and Mr. Lovejoy s discourse is spoken of 
in high terms. A contribution was taken to defray the ex 
penses of the funeral, and to erect a plain monument over his 
grave at Mount Auburn. The money raised to procure Mr. 
T. s release, is to be invested for his children. Twenty dol 
lars of it were raised in this town, and we are sure the con- 


tributors will feel a rich reward. A great meeting was held 
in Faneuil Hall on the evening of Monday, of which we shall 
ihave an account and also of the funeral next week." 

[From the Ohio Standard.] 

" Another Victim. Charles T. Torrey is dead a martyr 
to the holiest principles of religion and liberty a victim to 
the vengeance of the bloodiest tyranny that ever escaped from 
hell to defy Heaven and prey upon man. His pure spirit is 
at last free from the malice of his enemies, and at rest in the 
bosom of his God. If the soul of American liberty had not 
long since departed if there remained yet any of that fire 
that glowed in the bosoms of our Hancock, and Adams, and 
Henry, the American people would clothe themselves in sack 
cloth and ashes, and go down upon their knees in mourning. 
Cannot some one be found whose repentance and intercession, 
as did that of Jonah in respect to Nineveh, will avail to avert 
the righteous calamities that otherwise threaten this nation ? 
What will posterity think of it ? In the light of the nineteenth 
century, in the most free republic of the earth, a Christian 
minister incarcerated in a dungeon with felons, on a charge 
of assisting his enslaved brother to his freedom ! A free citi 
zen of a democracy a prisoner for life, for believing that all 
men are born free and equal, and endowed Jby their Creator 
with certain inalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, 
and the pursuit of happiness." 

"A Christian minister, in a Christian land, doomed to 
an infamous and life-long captivity for obeying God rather 
than men, doing unto others as he would that others should 
do unto him. Great God ! can the wickedness of such hy 
pocrisy ever be atoned for, or forgiven ? Freemen of Ohio ! 
you will be partakers of its punishment and disgrace, as you 
are in its sin ! Arouse yourselves and strive, if by any means 


you may avert from yourselves, your country, and the age, 
the judgments of a God too righteous to look with favor upon 
such iniquity and the infamy, which impartial history must 
award you." 

[From Cassius M. Clay s True American.] 
Rev. C. T. Torrey. The captive is at length free. Tor- 
rey breathed his last in the prison of Baltimore, on Saturday 
the 9th. 

" His was a hard lot. Pure in life and benevolent in ah 1 
his feelings, he did no wrong to any human being, and sought 
ever to administer to the wants of the needy, and soothe the 
sufferings of the sad. 

" His friends believed him entirely innocent of the charge 
of which he was convicted. He was a devoted friend of lib 
erty. He sympathized with master and man. But neither 
his devotion nor his sympathy could have led him, those who 
knew aver, into any deed of violence, or to the commission 
of any act of injustice. Yet, with this character substantiated 
at the hour of his trial, he was found guilty, and died in 
prison ! 

" There were those, unconnected with his home, class 
mates and friends, who offered money to the slaveholder who 
accused him, if he would consent to his release. But this boon 
was denied them. There were those besides at his home, his 
aged parents, his wife, and his little ones, who prayed the 
governor of Maryland, as kindred only knew how to pray, 
for his pardon. This was denied. And then came the sharper 
trial of all. Disease seized upon the prisoner in the chilly air 
and murky gloominess of his prison cell. Fever was upon his 
brow, and he knew, as his friends saw, that life was ebbing 
fast. Unmoved, he bowed to death s stern decree. But one 
prayer to man he made, and that was, that he might die in 
the bosom of his family ; and this prayer was unheeded, 


and away from friends, and home, and name, he passed away, 
a captive on earth, to freedom in heaven. 

" One of the worst features in slavery is the iron vindic- 
tiveness with which it pursues those who interfere with it. 
It has no ear then for mercy. It knows no gentleness. Aveng 
ing, avaricious, cruel, it turns away from every appeal, and 
shuts its heart to every sympathy. It sees only supposed guilt, 
and gluts itself in wreaking vengeance upon its victim. Poor 
Torrey ! Death did for thee, what the slaveholder denied ; 
he gave thee freedom. And yet at the footstool of thy God, 
if friends do not misrepresent thee, thy prayer will be heard, 
in intercession for those who have wronged thee." 

[From the Boston Daily Mail.] 

" Rev. G. T. Torrey. We have already chronicled the death 
of Rev. Charles T. Torrey in the Maryland penitentiary, 
where he had been imprisoned for aiding the escape of negro 
slaves. There are circumstances which, perhaps, render it 
proper that we should give a more particular notice of him. 
He was employed to write the Washington correspondence of 
this paper in the winter of 1842 ; and his letters were much 
sought after, and more generally copied than the ordinary 
correspondence of the newspapers. There was a raciness, a 
piquancy, and an independence in the spirit of his remarks, 
which rendered them quite popular ; but owing to the pecu 
liar views of the writer on the slavery question, we were 
obliged to exercise a surveillance over them, and to expunge 
much matter which was indicative of the man. Our under 
standing with him was, that he should confine himself to con 
gressional proceeding, and matters of general interest at 
Washington ; but his heart was so full of his loved subject, 
the abolition of slavery, that it would < shine out in spite of 
him. But he never complained when we applied the pruning 



knife to his letters ; because he knew, and repeatedly ac 
knowledged that, as we employed and paid him for a particu 
lar line of correspondence, we had a perfect right to keep him 
to his bargain. After his return from Washington, he was 
employed to conduct an abolitionist paper at Albany, called 
the < Patriot ; but with all his talents, he lacked the judg 
ment and discretion, and abandoned it. 

" In all our knowledge of mankind, we have never known 
one possessing a more generous heart or a more independent 
spirit than Charles T. Torrey. He was open, free, and above 
all disguise or fraud. He loved the truth, and he spoke what 
he believed to be the truth, at all times, in all places, and un 
der all circumstances. His hallucination on the subject of 
slavery, did not rob him of the amiability of temper and de 
portment which rendered him so well beloved among his large 
circle of personal friends. He detested fraud and hypocrisy 
wherever they exhibit themselves ; and he loved the beautiful 
and bright things of earth, and wondered why all mankind 
would not be good, virtuous, contented and happy. He was 
the author of several moral tales, one of which we published, 
all showing the ardent temperament and high moral principle 
of the man. Even on the subject nearest his heart, he was 
not vindictive towards the slaveholders. He believed that, by 
persuading the slaves to abandon their masters, he was con 
tributing to the temporal and eternal benefit of both. 

" We saw him a few months previous to his arrest, and he 
talked as freely of his plans of running the < underground 
railroad, as he termed it, as though it was attended by no 
danger, and coupled with no violation of the law. We ear 
nestly but kindly remonstrated with him. We pointed out the 
dangers and difficulties of the experiment. We admonished 
him that he was violating what every citizen was bound to 
protect. We appealed in behalf of the wife he loved and the 
friends who loved him. But it was all in vain. He was fear 
less of consequences, and apparently ready and willing to be- 


come a martyr to the cause. It was with a heavy heart that 
we parted with him on that occasion ; for we well feared what 
must be the consequence of his daring and reckless career. 
And when, a short time afterwards, we heard of his arrest, it 
occasioned a good deal more of sorrow than surprise. His 
subsequent history is before the public. He has gone to his 
last account with that Being who judges the heart; and who, 
we doubt not, will mete out to him the reward of a pure and 
virtuous life." 

[From the Emancipator.] 

" The Governor of Maryland has refused to pardon poor Torrey, and 
he must soon die." 


Aye, let him die; his work will then 
Be finished, and his task fulfilled ; 
His life belongs to God, and when 
HE wills shall that strong heart be stilled : 
Dream not the tearless tyrant can 
Take the sealed life of such a man. 

Aye, let him die ! the broken heart 
Of that young wife bleeds not in vain : 
From that warm fount a stream shall start 
To wash out slavery s crimson stain. 
Beyond the craven coward s look, 
God hath a purpose in his book. 

Aye, let him die ! those infants prayer, 
Spurned by the tyrant, cannot die ! 
Heaven heard the lisping infants there, 
Their plea is registered on high. 
Those whispers into storms shall swell, 
And thunder SLAVERY S final knell. 

Aye, let him die ! thus must it be ! 
Why do ye look for mercy there ? 
Why did ye ask ? why bow the knee ? 

POETRY. 359 

Ye should have known they d spurn your prayer. 

Ask the hyena to forbear, 

His helpless, bleeding victim spare. 

Aye, let him die ! Yet O, for him 
Twere better could he die at home ! 
And as his fading eye grows dim, 
To feel, Thank God, I m not alone: 
But O, for others let it be 
He yet shall set his thousands free ! 

Aye, he must die ! A holocaust 
Is wanted now for freedom s altar : 
"When, by the stirring tempest tossed, 
Who ever saw HIM pale or falter ? 
Now in the crisis shall he fly ? 
No never he would choose to die. 

Aye, he will die ! the martyr s way 
Lies bright and beautiful before him : 
And He who was the martyr s stay, 
His aegis now is throwing o er him. 
0, his will be a deathless fame ; 
Men yet will start to hear that name. 

He falls, but dies not ! from that cell 
Damp, poisonous, loathsome, yet shall ring 
A startling cry o er hill and dell, 
Which e en the dead to life shall bring : 
To freedom s shrine, with panting breath, 
They haste to swear BY TORREY S DEATH ! 

[From the Barre Gazette.] 
TORREY, thy dismal dungeon walls are riven, 
And angel-wings have borne thee safe to heaven. 
Unfettered now the unfranchised spirit flies 
To fadeless fields and ever-shining skies. 
I think I see the sainted, martyred host 
Who gave their lives to gain the immortal coast, 
From Heaven s high battlements bend gently down, 
And shout him welcome to a glittering crown. 


The joyous plaudit of well done , is given, 
And enter to thy rest resounds through heaven. 
No more shall cells and bars, and bolts, control 
The noble energies, which swayed his soul, 
His philanthropic mind no more is pained 
With the sad sight of fellow-beings chained. 
Land of the free ! are these thy noble deeds ? 
And have your sons no tear when virtue bleeds "? 
Look on the martyred Torrey ! see him fade 
As days move on, in cells for felons made ! 
And as the lustre languished in his eye, 
Nor faithful friend, nor tender consort by 
That bed of death. Alone the sufferer trod 
The gloomy path, which leads our souls to God. 
His only crime to loose the captive s chain, 
And help the slave his native rights to gain. 
Land of the free ! no more pollute thy soil, 
With suffering slavery s never-ceasing toil. 
The sweat-drop, like the blood of Abel, cries 
For quick redress from the avenging skies. 

At the close of a discourse delivered by the editor of the 
Contributor, at Clockville, N. Y., Lord s day, July 19th, on 
the character, treatment, death and burial of Charles T. 
Torrey, the following expressive hymn, written for the occa 
sion by Roswell Randall, of that place, was sung by the choir. 
The effect upon the large assembly of people was such as can 
never be effaced. We esteem it worthy of being sung in ev 
ery family, and on public occasions, by the best singers in 

the land. 


Sons of the North wake from your sleep ! 

Your cherished country save : 
Is that the boon your fathers won 

That cold New England grave ? 
Church of the North awake, arise ! 

The fiends of darkness rave : 
Lo ! there your brightest jewel rusts 

In Auburn s new-made grave. 

POETRY. 361 

Rouse, men of truth ! did not your sires 

Th invading Lion brave ? 
Let not your country s call be vain 

That call from Torrey s grave. 

Ye, who abhor that iron rale, 
Which bloody Papists crave 

Go learn a worse than Papal sway, 
In that dear Martyr s grave. 

Ho ! ye who say, We ve nought to do 

Shall we now act the Slave ? 
Go read the price the North has paid, 

Upon that Martyr s grave. 

Great God ! send forth thy light and truth, 
With thine own power to save, 

Until the South shall meet to bless 
That lonely Martyr s grave. 


Baptists, whose richest vessel floats 
On Christian Freedom s wav, 

Your WILLIAMS spread that glorious flag 
That droops o er Torrey s grave. 

Wake, then, and snatch that drooping flag, 
And spread it o er the slave 

Go, link your interests with his own 
For thus speaks Torrey s grave. 

[From the Emancipator.] 


<! When Gibeah s heartless libertines 
Outraged their Levite guest, 
Thus adding to their fearful sins 
What darkened all the rest, 
All Israel from their slumbers woke, 
Through vale and hill loud voices broke ; 
Incensed and shamed, a steel-flanked flood 
Sought dire revenge in streams of blood. 


Why start ye, sons of Asher ? Why 
Is terror seen in every eye, 
As Raman s street, and Rehob s gate 
Tell the dismembered victim s fate ? 
Manasseh, AVhy that deep lament, 
O er Hor s wild cliffs so swiftly sent. 
Till, echoing down fast Merom s waves, 
It swells again from Gilead s caves ? 
Through Reuben. Simeon, Ephraim, Dan, 
The torn-limb-bearing herald ran ; 
Wailings were heard in Naphthali, 
Through Zebulon the tidings fly ; 
A troop from Gad cross Jazer s stream, 
In Issachar the lances gleam. 
Thy lion, Judah, tears the ground, 
And roars his rage to tribes around. 
From Gibeah flesh and bones were sent, 
Crying Revenge 1 where er it went ; 
A corpse the Pilgrim soil now roams ! 
It cries Forgive where er it comes 
But while my murderers are forgiven, 
For slaves, for masters, look to Heaven. 
Ye sons of freedom ! Come to view 
This herald coffin-dad 
Released, at last, he comes to you ; 
Hush ! listen to the dead ! 
He tells of souls whose short career 
On earth is filled with pain and fear ; 
While on their limbs the fetters clink. 
Yet of release they must not think ; 
And he Avho dares their rescue seek, 
In prison must atonement make. 
He tells us of a torturing rack, 
Designed, not bone, but hearts to break 
And whose firm grasp not only binds 
One victim but all living friends. 
A victim he, yet not alone 
Wife, children, must with him atone. 
For doing deeds of love for those 
Whom pity never could refuse. 
She hoping, but to be deceived, 
That his hard fate would be reprieved : 

POETRY. 363 

They trusting that a father s smile 
Would } T et their tedious hours beguile ; 
At distance from his dying hed 
Through torturing hopes and fears are led. 
He anguished that his babes and wife 
Are absent, pines away his life. 

See see it comes ; that corpse is near ! 

Haste, freemen ! stand beneath the bier. 
Let patriots bear a patriot s dust, 
Remembering I AM is just. 

His herald-corpse from slavery comes ; 

It cries Set free, where er it roams, 

It shows us that if men delay, 

Freemen, to the bar of God 
That c delivered one has fled 
God his story there will hear : 
Free the slave or justice fear." 

T. D. P. S. 

[From the Christian Citizen.] 
He is stretched on a pallet of straw ; 
No friend wipes the cold drops away, 
That, in anguish, are wrung from the sufferer s brow. 
While his spirit is struggling so fearfully now, 
To throw off its burden of clay. 

He is stretched on that pallet alone ; 

Saving death, there is no one within ; 
And the damp gloomy walls of the prisoner s cell 
Look down on the dying, as seeming to tell, 

Of a life of pollution and sin. 

Alone, and a criminal ? No. 

In the midst of this desolate scene, 
A light breaks the darkness, in glory divine ; 
In its rays, how the features of death brightly shine ! 

Like the sun, mighty storm-clouds between. 

It is He, the Redeemer of men ; 
Anointed with power from on high 


He opens the prison to him that was bound, 
While the chariots and horsemen of God wait around. 
The freed captive to bear to the sky. 

Why dragged the tried martyr the chain 
Of a felon, through scorn, to the grave ? 
O,"hear it, and clothed be the heavens in black, 
While THE LAND OF THE TYRANT the answer gives back, 
He remembered the perishing slave. 

My countrymen, weep not for him ; 

He has passed to the home of the just ; 
But gird you with sackcloth, and mourn for the land : 
0, weep, lest beneath the AVENGER S strong hand. 

All your hopes sink in shame to the dust." 

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